With most of the leagues having started already, We'll have a look at some of the Canes in the real world rather than in this psychomaniac world of our imagination.
Who's Hot - Joffrey Lupul : Started the year with the Ducks due to injuries and looks likely to stay a bit longer. Has started to score points as well which is always good to see in a rookie.
Who's Not - Top Swedes : Namely Joel Lundqvist and Andreas Holmqvist. This two has not really performed statistically and their play has just stunk. Reports coming out of Sweden, Lundqvist's skating is very questionable and seems to have lost some confidence. Holmqvist has been a healthy scratch for the last few games for the Bulldogs in the AHL. It seems that there are more teething problems for him. Did he come to NA too early?
On the Rise:
Cory Urquhart He had a great camp with the Canadiens and has began to show some potential back at the Rockets. Currently behind Micheal Lambert on team scoring are in the top 10 in scoring in the league. However, he has shown inconsistency which is being addressed at the moment.
Jens Karlsson Last season for Karlsson was a season to forget personally despite coming out to play in the playoffs to help the Indians win the SEL. This season, he has come out with a bang. A new contract signed and things are looking better already.
David Backes Backes has come out like a mach truck going at a point a game pace through 4 games for the Minnesota State. He is using his size to full affect and is already drawing good reviews. Time will tell if he is good enough when the likes of ND, UM and CC come to town.
Dion Phaneuf Since the draft, he has done everything well. He went to Canadian WJC training camp and trains the house down. He was by far the best d-man which included top drafted D-man Braydon Coburn. Going into the Flames training camp, he was throwing his weight around, which impressed the brass and fans alike. Now back at Red Deer Rebels, he leads the team in points and provides leadership on a young team.
James Sharrow Since coming back from the Thrashers, he has done nothing to improve his chances of making the show. In his defense, he is playing for a very bad team but when you are becoming a healthy scratch this early in the season, something must be going wrong.
Nikolai Zherdev Tikhonov now at a CSKA would have meant that Zherdev was going to have a ripper year. It seems that the wonder coach has not shown any favours for Zherdev. He has played on all lines for a team that is struggling this season.
Jean Michel Bolduc - His Christmas must have come early has he has been traded to Crosby's Oceanic. His stats and play must increase as a result of this.
Others worth mentioning:
Mikael Kahnberg If Kahnberg has another cracker season as he is doing so far, the NHL Canes are going to have huge headaches but of the good variety.
Niklas Nordgren See Kahnberg.
Ryan Kelser A surprise where he was taken in the draft and even bigger surprise that he forgoes another 3 years of college. Almost going a ppg has shut up some doubters.
Ryan Bayda A gritty skillful player for the Canes. Tore up the AHL in two games and got called up to the big team. Playing on a line with Ron Francis isnt at all bad.
Stefan Meyer - No Bouwmeester, Lupul, Katsitsyn. He still helping the team win with his skill and leadership. He must now learn what Jay and Joffrey went through before him.
Season yet to start:
Hugh Jessiman A big season is in order for the Speciman. With a great freshman year, will the sophomore blues come in?? If he has another great season, it could be MSG here we come or in this case, Raleigh Entertainment Center.
Andrew Archer looked fairly good at the prospect camp but picked up a mystery injury when sent to the Bulldogs.
Alexander Sulzer Party animal Sulzer finally gets his due. Involved in a drunken car crash, which hospitalized him. Nashville management must have a talk to the young German or Sulzer could turn into Andrei Medvedev soon.
Top 10 Cyclones thus far:
1. Joffrey Lupul
2. Dion Phaneuf
3. Nikolai Zherdev
4. Ryan Kelser
5. Ryan Bayda
6. Hugh Jessiman
7. Magnus Kahnberg
8. Niklas Nordgren
9. Mihail Yakubov
10. Cory Urquhart