Hurricanes forced to loan trio of prospects to Europe due to having no minor league affiliate

Published July 17, 2023 at 9:11 PM

The Carolina Hurricanes are in a bit of a difficult position heading into the 2023-24 season.

Just over three months ago, it was announced that starting next season, the Chicago Wolves, who were Carolina's American Hockey League affiliate, will become an independent franchise.

This move now leaves the Carolina Hurricanes as the only team in the National Hockey League to be without an American Hockey League affiliate and will complicate for the organization in terms of their prospects.

On Monday, Hurricanes reporter Walt Ruff tweeted that the team is loaning a trio of prospects to Finland's top division, Liiga, for the 2023-24 campaign.

2021 44th overall pick Aleksi Heimosalmi will play for Porin Assat, 2021 51st overall pick Ville Koivunen will play for Oulun Karpat, while 2019 fourth-round pick Tuukka Tieksola will suit up for Rauman Lukko.

Heimosalmi, 20, appeared in 45 games for Porin Assat last season, putting up 15 points (four goals, 11 assists), 12 penalty minutes and was a minus-15.

Koivunen, 20, had a strong season with Oulun Karpat in 2022-23, recording 28 points in 52 games, before coming over to play for AHL Chicago for 12 games.

Tieksola, 22, spent the majority of the 2022-23 campaign in the AHL where he had 24 points in 52 games. He also suited up for Oulun Karpat for 11 games, putting up five points.

The Hurricanes are expected to have their own American Hockey League affiliate in time for the 2024-25 season. As for their North American prospects next season, they'll be sent to other teams around the AHL.

July 17   |   139 answers
Hurricanes forced to loan trio of prospects to Europe due to having no minor league affiliate

If it's via expansion, where should Carolina's new AHL affiliate be?

Virginia Beach, Virgina1913.7 %
Knoxville, Tennesse1913.7 %
Greensboro, North Carolina8057.6 %
None of the above2115.1 %
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