Originally written on Shutdown Line  |  Last updated 7/18/12

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.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia suspended 162 games for PEDs

Brady told staff to hand copy of game ball rules to officials

Phillies agree to deal sending Jonathan Papelbon to Nationals

Report: Russell Wilson will close down contract negotiations Friday if no deal is in place

Report: Brady authorizes NFLPA to appeal his case in court

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL, NFLPA reduce Le'Veon Bell suspension

Tim Brown: Cardinals new coach Jen Welter is 'tough as nails'

NFL seeks federal court ruling to confirm Brady’s suspension

Royals reportedly acquire Ben Zobrist from Athletics

Dallas Cowboys officially release RB Ryan Williams

Hulk Hogan reportedly used homophobic slurs, too

Angels stockpile outfielders, acquire Murphy and DeJesus

Penguins trade Brandon Sutter to the Canucks

Ronda Rousey willing to fight Miesha Tate a third time

Mexico fires head coach for alleged airport brawl following Gold Cup win

Jameis Winston: Back at a good weight heading into camp

Shaq on Scottie Pippen beef: 'I don't let bums disrespect me'

Five NFL players who will take a step back in 2015

Jets won't hesitate to bench Geno Smith if he struggles

Jonathan Papelbon will be traded … somewhere

Six players poised for big year after season-ending injuries

‘Mystery pooper’ torments golf course by defecating in holes

Gyllenhaal’s parents made him turn down ‘Mighty Ducks’ role

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker