At 18 years old and as one of the youngest players in an NHL training camp, there were certainly no expectations for Felix Unger Sorum to see time in Raleigh during the regular season.
After all, he was the youngest player selected in this year’s draft, and celebrated a birthday just two weeks ago.
But, with opening night just 10 days away, the Hurricanes do not have a plan for the 2023 second round pick for the upcoming season.
“We don’t have a plan for him as far as I know,” said Rod Brind’Amour. “[We will] just see where it goes. He’s done well, a young kid, and we’ll try to get him another game here, maybe two, and make a decision.”
By no means does this mean Unger Sorum is slated to remain in Raleigh, but it does leave the door open for a historic occurrence. In the last 30 years, just five 18 year olds have appeared in multiple NHL games after getting selected in the second round or later. (@CanesStats)
Unger Sorum has played in three preseason contests for Carolina, showcasing his playmaking ability from the jump. He recorded points in his first two games, putting his passing ability on displaying with two assists.
Based on the words of Rod Brind’Amour, he will likely end up with four or five games under his belt before a decision is made.
In all likelihood, Unger Sorum will return to Sweden for the 2023-2024 season, but it is noteworthy that the Hurricanes have yet to make, or at least announce, a plan for this year.
Carolina’s lack of an AHL affiliate is the main reason for this development, as many of their prospects will be loaned out to other AHL teams after the Chicago Wolves’ decision to go independent.
And while Unger Sorum is absolutely a talent that could help any minor league team win, many organizations may not want to hinder the development of their prospects with his presence.
Even with Unger Sorum unlikely to make the opening night roster, there is an interesting decision at play for the Hurricanes’ front office. Sending him to Sweden will almost guarantee that he does not see any NHL action this season.
That certainly is not a bad option, but with injuries and the grind of an 82 game schedule, his services could be needed at some point during the season.
Regardless of where he spends his rookie year as a professional, Unger Sorum is in the future plans in Raleigh and has made a strong first impression during his short time in training camp.