Folks, how crazy was this draft weekend? First, the Canes were rumored to be in discussions to trade Skinner. Then, Sean Shapiro tweets a photo of the Canes draft graphic showing…Brady Tkachuk. By the time the draft starts, my anxiety is through the roof and I’m pretty sure my campers were worried about me. In this recap, I’ll talk about the moves the Canes made, the picks that were made, and which teams had a good day two of the draft.
Ah yes, the new franchise hero. Andrei Svechnikov is a huge step in the right direction for the franchise, and he could be the next great Russian forward. He’s got the elite hockey IQ, skating, two way game, and offensive capabilities to make him a superstar. All he needs is the right line mates. Svechnikov could easily put up 60 points for the Canes next season, especially if you look at the roster changes the Canes made. Let’s put that note aside and save it for later. Svechnikov has the unique ability to make those around him better. He’s a great player, and I love how he crashes the net and knocks in rebounds. He’ll be a strong power winger that will make the Canes tough to play against, as well as a scoring threat. I’m extremely excited to see him as a Hurricane.
I really love this pick. Drury is a talented center that is just a touch under six feet tall, and can really change a team offensively. The left shot center went on a USHL record 23-game point streak this past season for Waterloo, and finished the season with 65 points in 56 games. Drury was captain of the Waterloo Black Hawks this past season, and is a leader both on and off the ice. People love his character, and his work ethic will allow for him to succeed in the NHL. Skating is a little bit of an issue right now, as he’s not the fastest skater. He’ll only get better, however, especially after spending some time with an NHL trainer over the next week. Drury is surprisingly strong for a kid his size, which will definitely help him out once he makes the transition to Harvard next season. His shot is quick and accurate, and release time is the only piece missing. He’ll need to work on that before transitioning to the NHL, but he’ll have plenty of time to do that. He’ll be attending Harvard University in the fall to play with Adam Fox, a newly acquired Canes prospect. Harvard is a good program, and Drury could be ready for the pros in two or three years.
Henman is an interesting pick, especially since he’s a bit of a late bloomer. This was his first full season in major junior, and he had an average season in the QMJHL. Henman is another left shot, which is interesting to see. The Canes picked two left handed centers with their first two picks on day two. He’s a good playmaker that has size and hockey IQ to warrant a draft pick, but good lord, give that kid a cheeseburger. He’s only 150 pounds, and will definitely need to add to that if he wants to succeed in the pros. I had him going 134th overall to the Islanders in my mock draft, so he definitely rose a bit. Henman is a really solid playmaker that is starting to tap into his shooting potential. He’s got an average shot that has progressively gotten better. Henman is definitely a bit of a project, but he has the potential to be a good value pick in the later rounds. He’s gotten so much better this season, especially defensively. It seems like Henman is a bit of a late bloomer, but he’s gotten drastically better this season. If this continues, he could be poised for a breakout season next year. He’ll play both seasons in the QMJHL before the Canes decide if he’s worth signing. Expect Henman to gain weight and start to improve his numbers next season. He says that he plays like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, which is an interesting comparison. He says that he’s smart and plays a good two way game, which is good to hear. I’m excited for him to continue developing, but I’m always a little cautious with QMJHL players. They need a lot more defensive work than they let on. Still, I’m a fan of the Henman pick.
He’s a player that has had a lot of issues with consistency, but has also put up great numbers. It’s a really weird dynamic that reminds me a little bit of Alex Semin. Lenni plays on the right wing, but is yet another left shot. Killinen has a lot of potential to be a playmaker at the NHL level, but consistency from shift to shift has to be a fix. He’s smart, strong, tough in the corners, and a great passer. All he needs is that consistency. There’s not a whole lot on him, but I know that his shot is pretty decent. He could possibly play for Assat in Liiga next year, which has produced a lot of good talent over the years. This year’s third overall pick, Jesperi Kotkaniemi is a product of Assat. Killinen could be an interesting prospect for us, but I’ll need to see how he plays next week at prospects camp.
He played for Sweden at the WJC this year, and had a decent tournament. He’s a strong 20 year old that can join the rush and make smart plays. He’s still discovering his offensive potential, but will have plenty of time to do that next season for Lulea in the SHL. He’s a really smart player that can think at an elite level, so I’m curious to see if the Canes try and accelerate his development by sending him to the AHL after one season in the SHL. Sellgren may be closer than we think, but will need to play in a men’s league before coming to the pros. It’s a really good pick, however, because the Canes’ depth on the left side is just average after Jake Bean. Sellgren could be a decent prospect to have in the pipeline.
He’s really rough around the edges, but potential is still there. Kucharski is a 6’4 goalie that plays for Des Moines in the USHL. He’s athletic, and will have five years to really refine his game. He’s had disappointing numbers so far, but you definitely see flashes of NHL potential in him. He’ll go to Providence College in 2019. Des Moines isn’t a great USHL team, so he may just be a victim of a bad team. Regardless, that extra year in the USHL will be a huge help for his development.
The Hurricanes made the biggest splash of the draft by trading the RFA rights of Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm to Calgary in exchange for Dougie Hamilton, Adam Fox, and Micheal Ferland. On the surface, this trade is a steal for the Canes. If you dive a little deeper, the trade is still a steal. This trade worked out tremendously for the Canes. Dougie Hamilton is an elite defenseman in this league, and even if Hanifin does pan out, it’s likely that he’ll be about as effective as Hamilton. The chances of that happening are slim, especially since Bill Peters isn’t known for his effective deployment of…well, anything. Hamilton is the elite RHD that the Hurricanes needed, and is capable of scoring 40-50 points next season. Ferland has had an inconsistent career, but he really came into his own last season. He had a breakout year, with 21 goals and 41 points last season. He’s a gritty forward that can score and also go to the net. Ferland is the type of player that Tom Dundon wanted when he said that the Canes needed to get tougher. He’ll put up decent points, and then make the team much more of a challenge to play against. Lindholm seems to have plateaued at a 40 point player. He hasn’t scored more than 17 goals in a season, and while he is reliable for primary points, he wasn’t going to be any better here than what he currently is. Lindholm is a good player, but the Canes were not going to offer him the money he wanted. He isn’t worth five million dollars. The Canes need cap space for an Aho extension soon, which will be a lot of money. Ferland is on a very cheap contract, and will be used in a lot of situations. Hamilton is making less than $6M a season, and is already a top ten defenseman in the league. The trade already looks great for Carolina, and then you throw Adam Fox into the mix. Fox is one of the NCAA’s best defensemen, and is very likely to succeed in the NHL. Fox has 68 points in 64 NCAA games over two seasons, and has played well in two World Junior tournaments. He’s got the potential to be an elite puck mover at the NHL level, and he and Jake Bean could be a really dynamic duo in a year or two. I’m really excited for that trade, and I think the Canes are a much better team because of it.
Who else won?
The Islanders had a phenomenal draft. They selected Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson in the first round, and then followed it up by selecting Bode Wilde in the second round. Those three picks are phenomenal, and the Islanders may not be a bubble team for long. Adding Jakub Skarek and Blade Jenkins in later rounds of the draft make their draft even better.
The Leafs picked Sean Durzi and Riley Stotts, two players who I thought deserved to go a little higher. Durzi is good, and Stotts has a lot of potential if given enough ice time.
Detroit had a great draft. Zadina and Veleno fell to them, and then Berggren in the second round? Great draft so far. Jared McIsaac is another good player who can make Detroit a better team. Their pipeline got a whole heap better in this draft. Ryan O’Reilly is a good pick, but I’m not sold on their other picks. Still, Detroit had a phenomenal draft.
That’s it! The Canes had a phenomenal draft, and the team has been changed for the better. Exciting times are ahead, and I can’t wait to see what is to come!