Carolina Hurricanes Draft Preview

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Carolina Hurricanes Draft Preview

Post by CanesChatter on Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:18 pm

Carolina Hurricanes Draft Preview

With the NHL Draft two weeks away, the Canes have a mass amount of picks to continue adding organizational depth. The Hurricanes have seven draft selections within the first three rounds and one in each of the following three rounds, for a total of ten in this year’s draft. There are several different paths Carolina can take.  

1) Hurricanes use their picks and stock up on young talent.
2) Package some picks to address one of the team’s needs
3) A mixture of both

If Carolina decides to make their selections, here are some players they should look to acquire:

At picks #13 & 21 - Logan Brown, Michael McLeod, Julien Gauthier

Logan Brown is a Raleigh native. Standing at 6’6, he would already be one of the Hurricanes tallest players. Carolina has tended to shy away from size in previous drafts (Boychuk, Dalpe, Paradis, Murphy, Terry to name a few). Brown dominated the Ontario Hockey League, posting 117 points in 115 career games. He would suit the Canes system well. Bill Peters is known wanting more puck possession and more offensive zone time. With Brown’s stature, he’s able to shield the puck away from defenders and battle down low. Stanley cup contenders have great depth at the center position. Jordan Staal, Logan Brown, and Victor Rask as the team’s top 3 centerman is pretty damn good.

Michael McLeod is known for his tenacity. Michael is a smaller center (6’2, 185 pounds), but his will to get in those dirty areas makes up for it. Prospects have been raving about McLeod’s skating ability, and how he’s a force in the transition game. Having a breakout threat with playmaking ability is always a plus to have. In his OHL career, McLeod has averaged 0.75 points per game (90 points in 120 games).

Julien Gauthier has drawn comparisons to NHL All Star, Rick Nash. If that’s not something special, I’m not sure what is. Julien has strong puck-handling skills, great skating ability, a natural scoring touch and exceptional vision. Gauthier is a right winger, which is one of the Hurricanes weaknesses.  Other than Skinner and Lindholm (who’s a natural center), the Hurricanes don’t have wingers that belong in the top 6. Recording 87 goals and 72 assists in 184 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, he has no problem producing points.

With 10 picks in the 2016 NHL Draft, the Hurricanes can package some picks and still attain young talent. Here are some players that are on the trading block that would fit well with Carolina:

Ryan Nugent Hopkins- The Oilers have an array of skilled forwards. Year after year, Edmonton stocks up on young talent and they continue to struggle. RNH would address the Hurricanes’ lack of a top line center. Also, with the selections, the Oilers will be able to draft solid defenseman. This deal would make sense for both teams.

Career Stats with the Oilers:
313 Games Played
77 Goals
145 Assists
222 Points

Nail Yakupov- Staying in Edmonton, the Oilers have also show interest in trading the 22 year old Russian. As stated before, they have a surplus of skilled forwards, and are looking to revamp their defense. A natural born sniper, Nail has struggled in the NHL.  A minus 88 in his NHL career, he’s definitely not the strongest in the defensive zone. The good thing is that the Hurricanes are the best puck possession team in the NHL, making Nail a great option for Carolina. The Russian also is a speed threat, which the Canes desperately need.  With a cap hit of just 2.5$ million per season, he’s a low risk, high reward kind of player.

Career Stats with the Oilers:
252 Games Played
50 Goals
61 Assists
111 Points

Rick Nash- It looks as if Nash’s tenure with the Rangers has come to an end. Trade rumors have been speculating ever since New York’s season has ended. The Blueshirts are in desperate need to dump cap space in order to re-sign their young core of forwards (Miller, Kreider, Hayes). Nash had a tremendous 2014-2015 campaign, scoring 42 goals, but last season was a struggle. Rick battled with injuries and inconsistency. He’s also been a non-factor for the Rangers in the playoffs, which has many fans unsettled. New York also doesn’t have a draft pick in the first two rounds this year, which could make them more willing. The biggest factor in this potential deal is his contract. Will the Rangers be willing to retain salary, or would the Hurricanes take all of it?

Career Stats in the NHL:
922 Games Played
393 Goals
340 Assists
733 Points

So I’ve gone over some potential routes the Hurricanes can take. Which one looks more appealing to you? Please feel free to comment. Thank you for reading. I’ll post another article after the draft. Let’s go Hurricanes!

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