Los Angeles, CA The Carolina Hurricanes had quite a busy second day of the draft in Los Angeles on Saturday as they stockpiled a total of 10 players via trade or draft. The club acquired fringe players Riley Nash, Bobby Sanguinetti, and Jonathan Matsumoto via trade for a variety of draft picks. Any of those players could be close to competing for a spot in the NHL. More about them in a bit.
Carolina selected US defenseman Justin Faulk with their initial pick of the day, (37th overall) and Jim Rutherford was very pleased with the pick. "We had him ranked very high on our chart, ahead of Jonathan Merrill. He scored 21 goals in the USHL last season and has a ton of upside."
After trading their next pick, (46th overall), for Nash, they selected Mark Alt with the 53rd overall pick. Alt is a defenseman who is big, (6'3) tough, and also plays football. He has supposedly made a commitment to hockey but did not attend the draft. He has a great combination of size and speed and was a finalist for the Minnesota "Mr. Hockey Award".
With the team's first third round pick, (67th overall), they selected Danny Biega, a defenseman currently playing in Harvard who has been compared to Dan Hamhuis. He has been rated as a great skater who has excellent stickhandling, but he needs work on his strength and his shot. He was ranked at 50 by the ISS who said that he "plays with an edge."
With their next third round pick, (85th overall), the club took another defenseman, Austin Levi, from the Plymouth Whalers. Levi is a stay at home defenseman who admits that he wants to improve on his offense. But he is a solid force in his own end.
In the fourth round (105th overall) they picked a forward who has celebrated two Memorial Cup Trophies with the Windsor Spitfires, Justin Shugg. The ISS has him as a hard working player with excellent hands, but he needs improvement with his physical play. He was second on the team in scoring last year, (behind Taylor Hall) with 39 goals and 40 assists. He could be a sleeper on a team loaded with talent.
In the 6th round, Carolina chose Tyler Stahl from the WHL Stahl is another stay at home defender who is supposed to be a hitting machine. He's listed at 6'2 and 200 pounds.
Finally, the Canes used their 7th round pick on a tall goalie from Denmark, 6'4 Frederik Andersen. Andersen's claim to fame on Wikipedia is that he scored an empty net goal in March, 2010.
Carolina traded three of their picks this year and one for next year to acquire Nash, Sanguinetti, and Matsumoto.
Riley Nash was Edmonton property who has just completed his third season at Cornell. Word has it that he might be tough to sign, but the Canes sent the Oilers one of their three second round picks, (46th overall), for the forward who was drafted in the first round, (21st overall) back in 2007. He scored 12 goals and had 23 assists in 30 games last year.
Bobby Sanguinetti is a slick skating defenseman who appeared in five NHL games for the New York Rangers last season. The Canes sent the Blueshirts their sixth round pick this season, (157th overall), and Washington's 2nd round pick next year, acquired in the trade for Joe Corvo. The New Jersey native played most of the past two seasons for Hartford of the AHL and could be ready to challenge for a job on the Canes next season.
Jonathan Matsumoto played for Adirondack/Philadelphia of the AHL for the past three years and scored 30 goals for the Phantoms last season. In the last three years he scored 79 goals and chipped in with 90 assists. The Canes sent the Flyers the 206th overall pick, (7th rounder), acquired from Washington for Scott Walker.
All three of these players will be given a good chance to make the Hurricanes next season, but if the current prospects outplay them, they could end up in Charlotte.
Including yesterday, the Hurricanes acquired six defensemen, (five by draft and one by trade), four forwards, (two by draft and two by trade), and one goalie. Four of the defensemen are US products, including Sanguinetti. Only one European was selected this year, Andersen, the goalie who was picked up with their last pick.
Here is more from Paul Branecky at CH.com.
We will have more detail along with interviews later on as we have the chance to publish the articles.