Entering the start of training camp next month, the Carolina Hurricanes stand on the verge of one of the biggest roster-spot battles in franchise history.
GM Jim Rutherford, recognizing how costly the Hurricanes' lack of depth scoring was last year, brought in two more potential bottom-six wingers via free agency. Nathan Gerbe and Aaron Palushaj will compete for valuable NHL positions along with 2013's underwhelming cast and a surfeit of up-and-coming prospects.
Semi-established NHL-ers Drayson Bowman, Riley Nash, Kevin Westgarth, Gerbe and Palushaj in addition to potential big-league rookies Nicolas Blanchard, Zac Dalpe, Brock McGinn, Victor Rask, Jared Staal, Brett Sutter, Chris Terry and Jeremy Welsh will all engage in a training camp battle for the ages.
Four forward slots most likely are open for the taking: one alongside Elias Lindholm and either Jeff Skinner or Patrick Dwyer on the third line and three more on the fourth line. For those with one-way contracts—Bowman and Westgarth, to be specific—making the team as the "13th forward" (a healthy scratch most nights) is also a possibility.
Where do each of those 13 young players stand entering September's training camp? What are their respective odds of making the Hurricanes' opening day roster? A detailed player-by-player breakdown falls on the coming slides.