Saturday, September 12, 2009

Kennedy on Track to Earn Contract

When 20-year-old Ontario Hockey League prospect Matt Kennedy was drafted by the Canes this year, many anticipated the star forward from the Guelph Storm to kick off his pro career in 2009-10 with the Albany River Rats. Alas, it was later announced that Kennedy was planning to return to the Storm for a fifth season.

But with a stellar performance at the Traverse City tournament, Kennedy earned an invite to the Hurricanes' training camp. So now the question hangs in air: will the Canes offer Kennedy a deal and bring him to Albany?

Prior to the prospects tournament, Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford anticipated inviting seven or eight of the young players to camp. After watching the team play in Traverse City, his opinion changed.

"Based on my talks with our people here, I think that number may get to 10," Rutherford told Paul Branecky of Tracking the Storm.

Well, the number hit nine. The most visible addition: Matt Kennedy.

“At this point, he looks like a good pick for us, and he’s certainly put himself in a position to get a contract now,” said Rutherford after watching the talented forward net three goals in four games at the tournament.

Kennedy, according to Branecky, "should play in Albany next season once he signs a contract with Carolina."