Originally written on Shutdown Line  |  Last updated 11/12/14

The Hurricanes did not have a good season but there were quite a few players in the system who got a taste of the playoffs in their respective leagues this year. One of those players was defenseman Keegan Lowe of the Edmonton Oil Kings. Lowe served as alternate captain on the WHL champion Oil Kings and was also one of their top defensemen. His team was unable to capture the Memorial Cup but Lowe played a big role in Edmonton's successful season as he was a very steady blue-liner and helped compliment some of their more offensive minded defensemen.

Lowe's development has always been put under a magnifying glass in Edmonton because he is the son of Oilers great Kevin Lowe and I'm sure the folks in Alberta have noticed his game improve over the years. He just finished up his third year of junior hockey but is still only 19 years old and has developed into a solid, stay-at-home defensemen for the Oil Kings and that's about what he projects to be at the pro level. How much upside he has remains to be seen but he could find himself playing an even bigger role in Edmonton this coming season with Mark Pysyk likely graduating to the pro level, which means that we should have a better idea of Lowe's potential then.

Standing at six feet and three inches, Lowe possesses the frame of a solid shutdown defenseman and I'm sure that he is going to put on a few extra pounds when he gets older, so it's possible that he can work his way to the NHL if he works hard enough. The Hurricanes do have a bit of a need for a stay-at-home defenseman with top-four potential since Brian Dumoulin was traded and Lowe might need to be one of those players to step up into that role. As of right now, we don't know if he can fill that void and he could easily turn into a career AHL-er or a bottom-pairing defenseman at best. It is still too early in his career to determine this, though. Lowe isn't completely one-dimensional since he does contribute offensively but he is more known for playing a strong game in his own zone and his puck-moving skills aren't exactly a force to be reckoned with. He's also spent a lot of time in the sin bin the last couple of seasons with over 100 penalty minutes in consecutive years.

Personally, I never know how to project young defensemen and it's especially difficult to gauge the talent of a stay-at-home defender like Keegan Lowe. Since most of their contributions don't show up on the scoresheet, you have to watch at least some of their games to get an idea of what kind of upside they have and what they could do in the future. Even after that it is tough to predict what they will become in a few years (take Luke Schenn for example). Judging from what I saw in the Memorial Cup, Lowe plays a very physical style and is very good at winning battles in front of the net. He is also a pretty decent skater for a stay-at-home defenseman. My concern with Lowe is if he can be as effective physically at the next level because he isn't the strongest player and this could be a problem when he's taking on bigger forwards.

Carolina fans could have an even better idea of what to expect from Lowe in a couple months if he is with the team at the Traverse City prospects tournament. He still has not earned a pro contract but I get the feeling that will change by this time next season and we could see him in Charlotte in another couple of seasons. Right now, Lowe is one of the team's more intriguing prospects but his full potential is still unknown and he is behind some of the team's other defensive prospects such as Danny Biega and Mark Alt. I'm very excited to see what he can do next season, though.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

Report: Browns interested in drafting Marcus Mariota

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

Report: Jermaine O'Neal 'intrigued' about joining Mavs

Report: Robert Griffin III likely to return to Redskins

Izzo criticizes coaches, players after embarrassing loss

Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

WATCH: South Alabama coach bloodied after kick to the face

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.