Noah Hanifin staying up with Canes as decisions loom for other rookies

Carolina Hurricanes' Noah Hanifin (5) tips the puck away from Florida Panthers' Jaromir Jagr (68) of Czech Republic, during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Noah Hanifin will remain with the Carolina Hurricanes this season.

The team had until Hanifin’s 10th game to decide to send the No. 5 overall pick in the 2015 Draft to Charlotte of the American Hockey League to avoid burning one year of the rookie’s entry-level contract.

After eight games, coach Bill Peters said Hanifin had done enough to stick with the club. Hanifin has two assists and is a minus-3. He has averaged 16:58 of ice-time per-contest. The 18-year-old was a healthy scratch in the Hurricanes’ last game against the Detroit Red Wings.

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Said Hanifin about his rookie year to Puck Daddy the morning before a game at Los Angeles on Oct. 23,  “I think it has been an adjustment both on and off the ice. It’s a business and it’s work, and it’s a lot more serious and stuff. But I like it. I think the transition is going well like the speed of the game and playing against bigger, and stronger guys … it’s a lot of fun. I’m having a blast doing it.”

There are several other players on entry-level deals who are nearing the 10-game mark.

• The Pittsburgh Penguins are facing a similar decision with Daniel Sprong, a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.  Through seven games the 18-year-old has one goal.

• When Robby Fabbri comes back from a concussion, the Blues will need to make a choice on their 2014 first-round pick, who has one goal in three games played.

• The Buffalo Sabres can send Sam Reinhart to the American Hockey League to keep that entry-level year in tact, but this unlikely due to their injuries and Reinhart’s upward development track. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 Draft has four points in nine games.

• Jake Virtanen (one assist in six games) and Jared McCann (four goals in seven games) of the Vancouver Canucks are both 2014 first-round draft picks the team will need to decide on soon.

• Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin will likely stay in the NHL after a hot start with seven points in nine games.

• It also seems highly unlikely the Buffalo Sabres will send down 2015 No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel in order to not burn his entry-level deal. Eichel has three goals in nine games played.

• Nikolaj Ehlers of the Winnipeg Jets has seven points in his first nine games with the team. Ehlers could be returned to the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League if Winnipeg doesn’t want to burn a year of his entry-level deal, but this seems unlikely with how he has impressed so far. 

• The Colorado Avalanche made their decision with forward Mikko Rantanen, sending him to San Antonio of the American Hockey League after he went pointless in six games. 

• Connor McDavid, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, has played 10 games already and has 10 points for the Edmonton Oilers.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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