Jared Staal looks to follow in brothers footsteps
The journey for forward Jared Staal to mimic his three brothers and finally crack a National Hockey League roster took a step in the right direction today.
Drafted in 2008 – 49th overall – by the Phoenix Coyotes, Jared Staal came as a name and hoped to include that name on the back of an NHL jersey. This off-season the Coyotes traded Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes to join his brother Eric within the organization. Of course, the basis of the trade had a lot more to do with that, as Phoenix did not see Jared in their plans and sent him packing to Carolina in exchange for a fifth round draft selection back in May.
As of today, the dream to follow in Eric, Marc and Jordan’s footsteps – who are all valuable NHL players – continues.
Jordan survived the latest round of roster cuts in Carolina, as the Hurricanes sent 13 players down to the farm systems.
As a second round pick there was a lot of pressure put on Jared before his professional hockey career even began. Being part of the Staal family added to that as all of his three brothers play prominent roles with their respective clubs.
Jared, youngest of the four, is hoping to prove his time and development over the last four seasons will finally pay off.
For those last four seasons he has spent the majority of his playing time in the OHL with the Sudbury Wolves. In 249 OHL games played, Staal scored 54 goals and added 99 helpers for a total of 153 points. He also had two stints in the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage in 2008-09 and 2009-10. He appeared in 10 AHL games throughout his young career, earning one point.
Listed at 6’3″ tall and weighing 198 lbs., the winger from Thunderbay, Ontario, Canada has decent size and having just turned the bright young age of 20 years old, still has a few years of development to improve his game in order to become a player, as of now, for the Hurricanes which would see him as not only part of the same organization but as a fellow teammate to brother Eric.
Having a very similar frame to his brothers, the one lack is the skill set he brings especially in comparison to Jordan and Eric. He is strong and plays a very physical game, especially along the boards however, his one knock comes when you look at his stick handling and puck skills. Again, at 20, there remains time to work and improve in that area.
Now, with a new club and a familiar face to help mentor him, Jared could be pushed by older brother Eric to take his game up one level which would then see him NHL ready.
If it is determination and drive, on top of the puck handling, that is missing from his game, would anyone doubt that playing with his older brother will change that?
Eric could be the perfect role model and guidance that Jared needs in order to finally prove that he, like his other three brothers, can skate and stick around in the National Hockey League.
With the way the league has changed over the past few seasons, or post-lockout if you will, teams need to be four lines deep and three defensive units strong in order to truly compete within the league. If Jared’s destiny is indeed an NHL roster spot, once he fully develops into an NHL player a top nine role is not out of the question.
All that remains to be seen now is how he matures from last year to this year. Step one seems to be under control, though likely to start the year either in the ECHL with the Florida Everblades or the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers, as he survived the roster cuts which has Carolina now at 31 players remaining in camp; 19 of them being forwards.
A betting man says not to expect to see Jared get any NHL time this season, though barring health or injury issues and his play – if at the AHL level – he could fight his way into the lineup sooner than one may expect.
The future holds no boundaries and it is now simply up to Jared himself to get his game to the appropriate level to join his three brothers within the big show.