Originally written on Shutdown Line  |  Last updated 11/19/14

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26: Justin Shugg poses after being drafted in the fourth round by the Carolina Hurricanes during day two of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

We are starting off this feature with one of the most accomplished prospects in Carolina's system, Justin Shugg. Shugg has been a part of two Memorial Cup winning teams with the Windsor Spitfires and won the Kelly Cup with the Florida Everblades this past season. Making his pro debut this year, Shugg recorded 5 goals and 13 points in 33 games with the Charlotte Checkers. That isn't the most impressive stat-line but what puts Shugg on this list over others who didn't make the cut is that he has been near-dominant at other levels.

Shugg was a point-per-game player with Windsor and Mississauga during his last two years playing at the junior level and was a 40 goal-scorer in 2010-12. He was also a point per game player with the Everblades during 12 regular season games and 11 playoff games. His performance at the lower levels has been nothing but impressivee as he has been able to be an impact player at the OHL and the ECHL but that has yet to translate to this success to the pros, which is a little worrisome but he is only 20 years old. He was named one of the Top 100 prospects of the 2010 NHL Draft by Cory Pronman of Hockey Prospectus and his play-making and scoring skills were a big reason for that. Since then, he's lived up to that reputation everywhere but the AHL, but I don't think there's anything to worry about with his development.

The issue with Shugg is that he needs top-six minutes to succeed and he wasn't getting that in Charlotte because he didn't produce consistently, which is why he was sent to the ECHL. The good news is that he made full use of his minutes there and played a big role in the team winning the Kelly Cup. He was playing on a line with Zac Dalpe for part of the season in Charlotte, so he was likely being matched up against tougher opponents and had trouble adjusting. This is something that is correctable with some time and experience, so I would expect bigger things from Shugg next season.

Another thing that might work in his favor is that one of Drayson Bowman, Zac Dalpe, Zach Boychuk or Jerome Samson could have a chance of playing with the Hurricanes on more of a full-time basis next season, so that could leave the door open for Shugg to play a bigger role. I'm pretty excited to see how he does then because he's clearly been able to get it done at every other level and I think it should carry over into the pros after he gains some strength, size and experience. He probably won't put up such gaudy numbers, but I see him being a useful player for the Checkers and possibly one of their top scorers in the next couple of years.

As far as his future in the NHL goes, that's still an open book. I never know what to expect from players who put up big numbers in junior because some of them end up being something special while others don't amount to much. Shugg hasn't turned 21 yet and was in the pros last season, so that's a promising sign but he also wasn't able to make that much of an impact either. Next season should tell us more about him and give us a better idea of what kind of future he has. If he has a great season and becomes one of the Checkers top-scorers, then he will definitely jump a few spots on this list.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Harbaugh won in laser tag by 'hunting' 10-year-old kid

Eddie Lacy is ‘very blind,’ refuses to wear goggles

Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, gets probation

NFL scouts not in love with Amari Cooper?

Report: No teams interested in trading for Lance Stephenson

It is not Chip Kelly's fault if Eagles miss playoffs

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

NBA games of the weekend: Rondo's Dallas debut, Bulls-Grizz

Tuscaloosa students will have two days off if Bama plays in National Championship

Brady scares the **** out of his teammates celebrating

Longhorn Network’s yule log? Five hours of BEVO

Will a Chiefs WR finally catch a TD in Week 16?

Jon Lester and the Cubs

The Toronto Raptors reveal their new logo

Things Johnny Manziel, Browns can do to avoid a bad repeat

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.

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

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.