The Carolina Hurricanes are one of the NHL’s most storied franchises. They have had some incredible players over the years, many of whom have become household names. With that in mind, it’s time to look back at the greatest Hurricanes players of all time. Here is a list of the top 10 greatest Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time. Read on to find out who made the cut!
1) Eric Staal
When it comes to the Carolina Hurricanes and NHL hockey, Eric Staal is undoubtedly one of the greatest players of all time. As the first overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Staal quickly made a name for himself with his impressive scoring abilities and leadership on the ice. Throughout his 15-year career with the Hurricanes, Staal established himself as a franchise legend, winning numerous accolades and becoming one of the most beloved players in team history.
Eric Staal’s impact on the Hurricanes was undeniable and his impact on the franchise will never be forgotten. During his time in Carolina, Staal scored 579 points (322 goals, 257 assists) and was named an All-Star five times. In 2006, he led the Hurricanes to their first ever Stanley Cup championship and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP. He also won two Maurice Rocket Richard Trophies for leading the league in goal-scoring and captured three NHL First All-Star Team selections.
In recognition of his tremendous accomplishments on and off the ice, the Hurricanes retired Staal’s number 12 jersey in 2018. This honor solidified his place among the greatest Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time.
2) Cam Ward
When it comes to discussing the greatest Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time, Cam Ward is always at the top of the list. During his time with the Canes, Ward made a name for himself as one of the premier goaltenders in the NHL.
Ward was drafted 25th overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft and made an immediate impact on the team. In his first full season, Ward won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, leading the Hurricanes to their first-ever Stanley Cup championship. He also earned the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed during the regular season and made it to the NHL All-Rookie Team.
In total, Ward played 10 seasons for the Hurricanes and holds almost every record for a goaltender in franchise history. He is the all-time leader in games played (503), wins (223), shutouts (30), and save percentage (.909). Ward also represented the Hurricanes in two NHL All-Star Games and was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 2010.
Although he retired in 2018, Ward’s legacy will forever remain in Carolina hockey history. His skill and determination pushed the Hurricanes to their first-ever Stanley Cup victory, making him one of the greatest Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time.
3) Doug Weight
Doug Weight was a part of the Carolina Hurricanes for two seasons in the mid-2000s, and he made a huge impact during his time there. Weight was a six-time All-Star who won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006. He put up impressive offensive numbers for the Hurricanes, totaling 81 points (30 goals, 51 assists) in 81 regular season games.
Weight was also a key contributor in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. He played a big role in the Hurricanes’ Game 5 win, scoring a goal and adding an assist. In addition to his offensive production, Weight was an effective leader on the ice. He served as an alternate captain during his time with Carolina and was often seen directing traffic on the ice and providing direction to his teammates.
Weight is undoubtedly one of the top 10 greatest players in Carolina Hurricanes history. His impact on the team, both offensively and as a leader, is still felt today. He will always be remembered as a major contributor to the Hurricanes’ first and only Stanley Cup championship.
4) Ray Whitney
When thinking of the greatest Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time, Ray Whitney is certainly one of them. The left winger was a great offensive player, playing with the Hurricanes from 2002 to 2010. He is well-known for his creative playmaking abilities and his ability to make his teammates better.
During his time with the Hurricanes, Ray scored 181 goals and 336 assists, giving him a total of 517 points. His play was often instrumental in the Hurricanes’ success. He was an integral part of their 2006 Stanley Cup Championship team, contributing to the team with 15 points in 25 games during the playoffs.
He went on to be selected to two All-Star Games, and he was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1994. Ray also helped lead Team Canada to gold at the World Championships in 2004.
Ray is certainly one of the top ten greatest Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time. He was an incredibly skilled player who could always be counted on to put up points and help his team to victory.
5) Glen Wesley
When talking about the greatest Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time, Glen Wesley must be included on the list. A veteran of over 1,600 NHL games, Wesley is the all-time leader in games played for the Hurricanes, playing 869 games in 12 seasons with the team.
Glen was an integral part of Carolina’s run to the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals, scoring 7 goals and 15 assists in 24 playoff games. He was also instrumental in helping the Hurricanes win their first ever Southeast Division title in the 2001-02 season.
Wesley was a leader on and off the ice, serving as an alternate captain from 1998-2003 and as assistant coach from 2011-14. He was also awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his humanitarian work in 2002-03.
Glen Wesley is undoubtedly one of the greatest Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time, and his contributions to the team will never be forgotten.
6) Rod Brind’Amour
Rod Brind’Amour is one of the greatest players in Carolina Hurricanes NHL history. He was an integral part of the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2006, and he served as captain for the Hurricanes from 2005 until his retirement in 2010. He was selected to the All-Star team four times and was a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2006.
Brind’Amour began his career with the Philadelphia Flyers, where he spent seven seasons. During this time, he established himself as one of the best two-way centers in the NHL, winning the Selke Trophy for best defensive forward in 2006. After being traded to the Hurricanes in 2000, Brind’Amour continued to be a dominant player at both ends of the ice. He led the team in scoring three times and finished second overall five times. His leadership was crucial to the success of the Hurricanes, and he was respected by both fans and teammates alike.
When he retired, Brind’Amour had played 1,484 regular season games, scored 452 goals and added 732 assists. He also appeared in 146 playoff games and scored 30 goals and 56 assists. These stats place him among the greatest Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time. Brind’Amour’s legacy will forever remain with the franchise and its fans.
7) Ron Francis
Ron Francis is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in Carolina Hurricanes NHL history. He began his career with the franchise in 1981 and played 16 seasons with the Hurricanes, compiling an impressive 1,175 points (418 goals and 757 assists). He was also named to the NHL All-Star team five times.
Francis was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007, in recognition of his exemplary career. In addition to his many accomplishments with the Hurricanes, he also helped lead them to the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals and captured the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 1995 for outstanding defensive play by a forward.
Francis left an indelible mark on the franchise and remains a beloved figure amongst Hurricanes fans. His name hangs in the rafters at PNC Arena and will never be forgotten.
8) Sami Kapanen
Sami Kapanen was one of the greatest Carolina Hurricanes players of all time. The Finnish winger joined the team in 1999, and went on to become a key contributor for nine seasons. Kapanen is known for his defensive contributions as well as his offensive flair, and he was an integral part of the Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup championship in 2006.
Kapanen was originally drafted by the Hartford Whalers, the team that eventually became the Hurricanes, in 1995. After playing with them for four seasons, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for the 1999-2000 season. He returned to the Hurricanes for the 2002-03 season, and went on to have several productive years with the team. In his nine seasons with the Hurricanes, Kapanen totaled 288 points, and was a major contributor on both ends of the ice.
Kapanen was also a key member of the Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup winning run in 2006. He had 20 points in 25 playoff games, and played an important role in shutting down opposing players on defense. His strong two-way play made him a fan favorite in Carolina, and helped lead the Hurricanes to their first Stanley Cup victory.
Overall, Sami Kapanen is one of the best Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time. His contributions both offensively and defensively were key to their success, and he was a beloved figure in Carolina during his nine years with the team.
9) Erik Cole
Erik Cole is widely considered to be one of the top Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time. A former first-round draft pick, Cole played with the Hurricanes from 2001 to 2008 and was a key member of the team’s Stanley Cup championship season in 2006.
Cole was an offensive threat throughout his time in Raleigh, totaling 310 points (141 goals, 169 assists) in 366 games with the Canes. He was named an All-Star three times during his tenure and his 35 goals during the 2005-2006 season were tied for fourth-most in the league.
Cole was also known for his physical play, tallying 627 hits in his seven seasons with the Hurricanes. His willingness to throw his body around earned him a reputation as a fan favorite, and he was often seen in the corner of the RBC Center giving the business to opponents after a hard check.
Off the ice, Cole was an active member of the Carolina community. He served as president of the Erik Cole Foundation, which provided assistance to underprivileged children and families in North Carolina. He also helped launch a program that provided free hockey equipment to kids who couldn’t otherwise afford it.
For his contributions on and off the ice, Erik Cole is rightfully regarded as one of the greatest Carolina Hurricanes NHL players of all time.
10) Jeff Skinner
Jeff Skinner is one of the most recognizable faces in Carolina Hurricanes hockey. The 2011 Calder Trophy winner, Jeff Skinner was drafted seventh overall by the Hurricanes in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, Skinner has established himself as one of the top players in the franchise’s history.
Skinner has appeared in 563 games for the Hurricanes and tallied 203 goals and 222 assists. He has also represented the team in multiple All-Star games, including two appearances in the NHL All-Star Game. In 2016, Skinner was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for his perseverance and dedication to hockey.
During the 2018-19 season, Skinner recorded his fourth consecutive 20-goal season with 37 goals and 30 assists. He has become a fan favorite in Raleigh and is considered one of the best players in the franchise’s history.