Justin Shugg Charlotte Checkers
The Carolina Hurricanes made their first AHL assignments of the season on Wednesday, sending a total of 11 players to Charlotte.

Forwards Victor Rask, Justin Shugg, Brody Sutter and Brendan Woods, defensemen Danny Biega, Mark Flood, Austin Levi, Keegan Lowe, Rasmus Rissanen and Beau Schmitz, and goaltender Mike Murphy will now report to Checkers camp, which officially begins in Raleigh this Friday before moving to Indian Trail’s Extreme Ice Center on Monday.

The Hurricanes also cut former Checker Brock McGinn, though the 19-year-old will return to his junior team in Guelph as he is not yet old enough to become a full-time AHL player.

Update: the Hurricanes had a change of heart and recalled Mike Murphy the following day.

Five of the players assigned to Charlotte are rookies, led by Rask, a 2011 second-round draft pick who scored 56 points in 54 total games for Calgary of the Western Hockey League last season. The 20-year-old center also won a silver medal with Sweden at the World Junior Championship after making his professional debut with Charlotte (five points in 10 games) at the beginning of last season.

With the exception of Lowe, whose success with his Edmonton Oil Kings club prevented him from joining the Checkers late last season, and Levi, who returned to Plymouth for a fifth junior season, all members of the incoming rookie class have played at least one game with the Checkers.

Of the older players heading to Charlotte, the 28-year-old Flood has the most professional experience, including 39 NHL games with Winnipeg in 2011-12 and a full campaign playing for Lokomotiv in the Russian-based KHL last season. Shugg, Rissanen and Murphy have each spent two full seasons in Charlotte, while Sutter and Schmitz will be returning for their sophomore campaigns.
Paul Branecky
Author: Paul BraneckyEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.