The Carolina Hurricanes are one of the teams to beat in the Eastern Conference in 2023-24, but they've gotten off to an interesting start. They're having no trouble scoring goals, potting a staggering 23 through just five games en route to a 3-2 record. But somewhat surprisingly with this defensive core, they've struggled to keep it out of their net. Both Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta have not been great to start the season, and the Canes have allowed 24 goals — an average of 4.8, good enough for dead last in the league.

And that is puzzling. Carolina was one of the best defensive teams in the league last year, and it's hard to figure why they've had such difficulty keeping the puck out of their net. And the two losses have both come to teams who are currently struggling; the 1-2 Anaheim Ducks and 1-4 Seattle Kraken. It seems like only a matter of time before the defense comes around, but it's certainly a concern in Raleigh. Still, the team is scoring a ton of goals, and that's without Andrei Svechnikov, who hasn't yet made his season debut following ACL surgery, and Sebastian Aho, who has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury.

So who is getting all of the points for the Hurricanes? The answer is two potential breakout players in Seth Jarvis and Brady Skjei, who are tied for the team lead in scoring and look poised for terrific seasons.

Seth Jarvis off to rollicking start

Seth Jarvis is doing this season for the Hurricanes what Martin Necas did last season: enjoying a hot start in a potential breakout campaign. The 21-year-old has scored four goals and six points in just five games. He's also averaging just under 20 minutes on ice per game while skating on the second line with Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Stefan Noesen, as well as the top powerplay unit. He's thrived in that role alongside Necas, Michael Bunting, Brent Burns and Tony DeAngelo.

He stayed hot in Thursday's 7-4 loss to the Kraken, scoring twice while firing five shots on net. He picked up all of his points in the third period as the Canes attempted a comeback but came short. Jarvis was a lone bright spot in the contest, and after back-to-back multi-point performances, he's up to 16 shots on net and nine hits, to go along with his six points.

It will be interesting to see how coach Rod Brind'Amour utilizes Jarvis once Aho and Svechnikov return to the lineup, but there's no doubt that he deserves to remain on PP1 for the time being. The Hurricanes are deep offensively, so expecting this kind of production all season is tricky. But the former Portland Winterhawk has had the best start of any forward in Raleigh, and he seems poised for a breakout season in his third full NHL campaign.

Brady Skjei playing out of his mind

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If I told you that Brady Skjei would be tied for the team lead in scoring through five games with six points from the back end, you probably would have called me crazy. The 29-year-old has never scored more than 39 points in a season, and he's currently on pace to score over double that. Obviously, that kind of production will not be sustainable. But what an incredible start for the Lakeville, MN native. And the most impressive part is, he's not part of either powerplay unit. Burns and DeAngelo are on PP1, with offseason signing Dmitry Orlov and Jaccob Slavin on the second unit.

Skjei has been doing it all for his team this season; he has a goal and five assists, along with 10 shots on goal, two hits and nine blocks. He's been a fixture on the second pair with Brett Pesce. Although the entire team needs to be better defensively, those two have really not been the problem in the early going. It's hard to call a player who is 29-years-old a potential breakout candidate, but tell that to the thousands of hockey fans who have rushed to pick him up in fantasy. Usually an afterthought, he's rocketed up to 79 percent rostered in Yahoo Fantasy and counting. He just couldn't have asked for a better start, especially in the final year of a contract that will pay him $5.25 million in 2023-24. If he keeps up this kind of play, Skjei will be due for a hefty raise with his new contract, whether that is in Carolina or elsewhere.

Regardless of the early struggles for the Hurricanes, they should right the ship once the reinforcements arrive. And if Seth Jarvis and Brady Skjei keep playing like this, the Canes could be as potent a club as any in the National Hockey League.