Heading into next weekend’s NHL Entry Draft, no team currently has more selections than the Carolina Hurricanes. On top of being slotted seventh overall in the first round, the Canes are poised to pick five more times in the next 80 picks, including three second-round choices, and 11 selections overall.
But how did GM Jim Rutherford & Co. go from a team that used just 11 total draft picks the past two entry drafts to having that many picks in 2010? Here's a look at how Carolina set itself up to be one of the biggest players in next weekend's draft.
Carolina was poised to own one of the top two or three picks for most of the season, but a late-year push led to Carolina finishing 24th overall in the NHL. The draft lottery was won by Edmonton, the league's worst team in 2009-10, leaving the Hurricanes with the seventh overall pick.
Past history: The Carolina franchise (both in Raleigh and as the Whalers) has never selected seventh overall. Since the post-lockout draft in 2005, the seventh overall picks have been: 2005 — Jack Skille (CHI); 2006 — Kyle Okposo (NYI); 2007 — Jakub Voracek (CLB); 2008 — Colin Wilson (NSH); 2009 — Nazem Kadri (TOR)
Best ever No. 7 pick: Bernie Federko, STL, 1976
Pick 2: Second Round, No. 37 overall
The first of Carolina's three second-rounders, the 37th pick is the Canes’ original pick.
Past history: The franchise has also never selected 37th. Here are the last five players to go 37th overall: 2005 — Scott Jackson (STL); 2006 — Yuri Alexandrov (BOS); 2007 — Stefan Legein (CLB); 2008 — Cody Goloubef (CLB); 2009 — Matt Clark (ANA).
Best ever No. 37 pick: Mats Naslund, MTL, 1979
Pick 3: Second Round, No. 46 overall
The Hurricanes acquired this pick from Ottawa, along with defenseman Alexandre Picard, in exchange for Matt Cullen on Feb. 12, 2010.
Past history: The franchise has chosen 46th once, selecting Mike Zigomanis with the pick in 2001 draft. Zigomanis played a total of 57 games with Carolina in three NHL seasons, splitting time between the AHL affiliate in Lowell and Raleigh in five seasons before being dealt to St. Louis as part of the trade deadline acquisition of Doug Weight in 2006. On top of a brief stint with the Blues, Zigomanis also played with Phoenix and Pittsburgh before leaving for Sweden after seven games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies this past season. Here are the last five players to go 46th overall: 2005 — Dustin Kohn (NYI); 2006 — Jhonas Enroth (BUF); 2007 — Ted Ruth (WSH); 2008 — Colby Robak (FLA); 2009 — Robin Lehner (OTT).
Best ever No. 46 pick: Darren McCarty, DET, 1992
Pick 4: Second Round, 53rd overall
The final of Carolina's three second round picks, the Hurricanes acquired this selection, originally owned by Buffalo, from San Jose in exchange for defenseman Niclas Wallin and the Canes fifth round pick in this year' draft on Feb. 7, 2010. San Jose acquired the pick from Buffalo, along with the Sabres’ second in 2009, for defenseman Craig Rivet and the Sharks’ seventh-round pick in 2010 on July 4, 2008.
Past history: In 1991, Hartford selected high school forward Todd Hall 53rd overall. Hall played college hockey at both Boston College and New Hampshire, but never made it to the NHL, playing the majority of his six professional years in the minors in the AHL. In his first pro season in 1996-97, he split time between the AHL's Binghamton Whalers and ECHL's Charlotte Checkers. Here are the last five players to go 53rd overall: 2005 — Andrew Kozek (ATL); 2006 — Mathieu Carle (MON); 2007 — Will Weber (CLB); 2008 — Travis Hamonic (NYI); 2009 — Anton Rodin (VAN).
Best ever No. 53 pick: Nicklas Lidstrom, DET, 1989
Pick 5: Third Round, 67th overall
The first of Carolina's two third-rounders, the 67th pick is the Canes’ original pick.
Past history: The Whalers picked 67th in both 1981 and 1982. In ’81 they selected forward Mike Hoffman from Brantford of the OHL. Hoffman played a total of nine games with the Whalers in three different seasons, spending the majority of his career in the minors. The 1982 pick was much more fruitful, landing Hartford legendary nasty defenseman Ulf Samuelsson. Samuelsson played a total of 1,212 regular and postseason NHL games, spending the first six and half seasons with Hartford before going to Pittsburgh as part of the blockbuster trade that sent him and Ron Francis to the Penguins. Samuelsson played 16 seasons with five teams, spending four and half seasons with Pittsburgh followed by four years with the Rangers, plus brief stints with the Red Wings and Flyers. Here are the last five players selected 67th overall: 2005 — Kris Russell (CLB); 2006 — Kirill Tulupov (NJ); 2007 — Spencer Machacek (ATL); 2008 — Marc-Andre Bourdon (PHI); 2009 — Josh Birkholz (FLA).
Best ever No. 67 pick: Mark Recchi, PIT, 1988
Pick 6: Third Round, 85th overall
Carolina acquired this pick from Vancouver in exchange for defenseman Andrew Alberts at the trade deadline on March 3, 2010.
Past history: The franchise has picked 85th once, when Hartford selected Oshawa Generals forward Ian MacNeil in 1995. MacNeil toiled in the minors for more than five seasons before playing two NHL games with Philadelphia in 2002-03. After that he bounced back and forth between the AHL and several different European league teams. Here are the last five players selected 85th overall: 2005 — Ben Bishop (STL); 2006 — Tom Sestito (CLB); 2007 — Brent Sonne (STL); 2008 — Brandon McMillan (ANA); 2009 — Cody Eakin (WSH).
Best ever No. 85 pick: Peter McNab, BUF, 1972
Pick 7: Fourth Round, 105th overall
The 105th overall selection was acquired from Anaheim, along with goalie Justin Pogge, for defenseman Aaron Ward at the trade deadline on March 4, 2010. The Ducks had received the pick from Boston two days earlier for defensive prospect Steve Kampfer. Coincidentally, both Ward and Kampfer played their college hockey at the University of Michigan. Furthermore, Carolina traded their original fourth round pick (97th overall) to Boston, along with Patrick Eaves, to reacquire Ward last offseason on July 24, 2009.
Past history: The Hurricanes picked 105th in 2008 and selected defenseman Michal Jordan. Jordan just completed his junior career with the Peter Karmanos-owned Plymouth Whalers and signed with Carolina in April. The blueliner will likely play for Carolina's new AHL affiliate in Charlotte next season. Here are the last five players selected 105th overall: 2005 — Keith Yandle (PHX); 2006 — Niko Snellman (NSH); 2007 — Bradley Malone (COL); 2008 — Michal Jordan (CAR); 2009 — Justin Weller (PHX).
Best ever No. 105 pick: Yandle, PHX, 2006
Pick 8: Sixth Round, 157th overall
The Canes do not hold a fifth round pick (their original pick was dealt to San Jose in the Niclas Wallin deal, while a fifth-round pick acquired from Nashville as compensation for Carolina being unable to sign Darcy Hordichuk after the team traded for his rights two offseasons ago went to Phoenix in exchange for Jared Staal last month), and this, the first of their two sixth round picks, is their original pick.
Past history: In 1989, the Whalers used the 157th overall pick to select forward Raymond Saumier from Trois Rivieres of the QMJHL. Saumier played just 56 games with the AHL's Binghamton Whalers in 1989-90 and was out of competitive hockey by 2000. Here are the last five players selected 15th overall: 2005 — Fredrik Pettersson (EDM); 2006 — Brent Gwidt (WSH); 2007 — William Quist (EDM); 2008 — Cameron Atkinson (CLB); 2009 — Evan Bloodoff (PHX).
Best ever No. 157 pick: Randy Burridge, BOS, 1985
Pick 9: Sixth Round, 167th overall
The 167th pick was acquired by Carolina, along with prospect Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll, from Colorado in exchange for veteran Stephane Yelle and 2006 third round pick Harrison Reed at the deadline on March 3, 2010.
Past history: The franchise has never selected 167th overall. Here are the last five players chosen 167th overall: 2005 — Joe Fallon (CHI); 2006 — Juraj Simek (VAN); 2007 — Johan Haruj (TB); 2008 — Joel Chouinard (COL); 2009 — Anton Blomqvist (CLB).
Best ever No. 167 pick: Dan Hinote, COL, 1996
Pick 10: Seventh Round, 187th overall
This pick is Carolina's original seventh round selection.
Past history: In 1994. the Hartford Whalers selected forward Tom Buckley out of St. Joseph's (N.Y.) High School with the 187th pick (then an eighth rounder). Buckley played for the OHL's Detroit Jr. Red Wings/Whalers for two seasons and then spent eight seasons in the minors, splitting time between the ECHL and AHL. He played his last two season with the Florida Everblades, retiring following the 2003-04 season as the holder of several Everblades records. Here are the last five players selected 187th overall: 2005 — Andrei Zubarev (ATL); 2006 — Devin DiDiomete (CGY); 2007 — Nick Eno (BUF); 2008 — Sean Collins (CLB); 2009 — Steven Anthony (VAN).
Best ever No. 187 pick: Mark Osiecki, CGY, 1987
Pick 11: Seventh Round, 206th overall
Carolina acquired this pick, their final selection, from Washington in exchange for forward Scott Walker at the trade deadline on March 3, 2010.
Past history: The franchise has never selected 206th in the draft. Here are the last five players selected 206th overall: 2005 — Josh Meyers (LA); 2006 — Viktor Sjodin (NSH); 2007 — Dan Gendur (VAN); 2008 — Patrick Johnson (MTL); 2009 — Ben Sexton (BOS).
Best ever No. 206 pick: Anton Khudobin, MIN, 2004