There is going to be no shortage of young talent in training camp this fall as the Hurricanes followed up their signing of Danny Biega yesterday by inking 19-year-old defenseman Keegan Lowe to a three-year entry-level contract today. Lowe was the Hurricanes 3rd round pick in the 2011 draft and is currently playing his fourth season with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League. Lowe will be eligible to play in Charlotte once the Oil Kings' season is over, but that could be awhile from now with the team currently sit at the top of their division in the WHL and heading towards the playoffs.
Keegan is the son of former Edmonton Oiler great Kevin Lowe and likely gets a fair bit of publicity since he's currently playing junior hockey in the city where his father won five Stanley Cups. He is currently the captain of the Oil Kings and is having a career season in terms of goals (15) and points (30) so his development is coming along very nicely. There is probably a lot expected from Lowe in Edmonton but he is far from the best blue-liner on his team and is more depended on for a leadership role as the captain. He also has a presence as a tough guy, as he has racked up a lot of fighting majors and a ton of penalty minutes in his junior hockey career. A part of the season where Lowe really shined was when Edmonton lost a few of their best defensemen to the World Junior Championships, forcing him to play more minutes and he was able to thrive in them, putting up some solid counting numbers.
Admitelly, I haven't seen much of Lowe this season aside from highlights, but he tends to be all over the place judging from those clips. Scouting reports peg him as more of a shutdown-type player, but there have been quite a few times where I've seen him roaming in front of the net on the powerplay. He also has quite a big shot from the point and has really shown it off this season with his 15 goals. His offense is something that scouting reports haven't talked about it a lot, but that part of his game has been coming around this season it seems. It will be nice if Edmonton makes it all the way to the Memorial Cup again so Hurricanes fans can get an even closer look at him.
Lowe will turn 20 at the end of the Month so he is still very young, but it's possible that he could be in the pros starting this fall. He was drafted more as a "project" but his development has been coming along very nicely if the reports out of Edmonton are any indication. I would expect him to be a candidate to make the Checkers roster out of camp or at least get the 10-game tryout look. I always say that you can never have too many young defensemen in your team's system, so getting both Lowe and Biega signed was a great move by Jim Rutherford and the Hurricanes.