The Hockey News has rated Carolina prospect Zach Boychuk as one of the top ten candidates for rookie-of-the-year. The accuracy of the report is a little questionable, as Boychuk is expected to play the majority of next season in Albany, but it sure speaks volumes for the depth of the organization.
It also brings up an interesting topic. The article notes that Boychuk will have "every chance" to make the NHL "as Rod Brind’Amour begins to show signs of his age."
Although Boychuk is probably not the leading candidate for the job, the Canes could be interested in a fifth center. Michael Ryan? Brandon Sutter? Zach Boychuk? The gig could be up for grabs.
General Manager Jim Rutherford recently said he expects Brind'Amour to "play a big role" with the Hurricanes next season, possibly on the second line. If this is the case, a fresh River Rat would probably be preferred over a stale spectator as the back-up middle man. But we'll just have to wait and see.