Carolina’s Draft Weekend? Most Pundits Deem It A Success

Second-round pick Phil Di Giuseppe is at the Hurricanes summer prospect conditioning camp this week. (Photo by Jamie Kellner)

Only time will tell if the hefty price Carolina paid to acquire Jordan Staal will pay off. Most seem to think that Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero fared well despite being in a no-win situation with Staal, getting back a high draft pick, a promising prospect and an established NHLer. But they also think Carolina improved their team in the now, giving them either a formidable top line featuring two Staal brothers, or a potent one-two punch down the middle that few can match.

Furthermore, the Hurricanes seemed to get the player they wanted with the their first selection in the draft and also add some potential for down the road.

North American Central Scouting chief scout Mark Seidel likes what the Hurricanes did over draft weekend.

"I thought the Hurricanes had a very good weekend in Pittsburgh," Seidel told Canes Country via email. "We graded them as an A minus.

"Firstly, they get one of the premiere centremen in the entire NHL (do not be fooled by his lack of offensive production playing behind Crosby and Malkin)," Seidel said. "He will flourish playing with Eric and will be a double-edged sword because his defensive awareness will shut down other team's first line while capitalizing on the other team's first line's defensive weaknesses."

Seidel was also complimentary of Carolina's selection of University of Michigan winger Phil Di Giuseppe, who was chosen with the 38th overall pick in the second round (Carolina's first selection after they dealt away the eighth overall pick to land Staal from Pittsburgh).

"Di Giuseppe was a great 1st pick because he has shown all year that he can play AND produce against men," Seidel said. "He put up excellent numbers as a freshman in the competitive CCHA [and is] well coached."

Michael Spath, who covers Michigan hockey for The Wolverine, also thinks Di Giuseppe has a bright future in the NHL.

"He's the quintessential left winger," Spath said. "He knows how to finish and makes his center look good when his center makes him look good. He needs to develop consistency, but that's common for kids that age. I like his effort defensively."

Some feel Di Giuseppe's stock may have slipped some due to a 14-game goalless streak he had during his freshman campaign with the Wolverines.

"I can't explain it, actually," Spath said of Di Giuseppe's slump. "He probably should have scored. It wasn't like he was pressing."

Furthermore, Spath said Di Giuseppe didn't let the slump get the best of him.

"He had a good attitude," Spath said of Di Giuseppe's demeanor during his goal drought. "He wasn't as frustrated as an upperclassman might have been."

Lost in the talk of the drought: if you take away those 14 games, Di Giuseppe had 11 goals in 26 games as an 18-year-old in the highly competitive CCHA.

* * *

Seidel also weighed in most of Carolina's other selections. Here's what he had to say.

  • "Brock McGinn was taken a little high for us but is a hard worker, a high-character kid who plays hard but his size is a concern to play in the NHL."
  • "Daniel Altshuller is a project goaltender with great size and athletic ability. He stole some games for Oshawa this year and will be a [big] part of this upcoming year."
  • "Erik Karlsson is another smallish centreman but he has great hockey IQ and some offensive ability. He represented great value at No. 99."
  • "Trevor Carrick is a VERY underrated defender from St. Mike’s that has gotten better every month since he came in the league. He's a ballsy kid — not flashy, but No. 5 [defenseman] down the road."
  • "Brendan Woods is another NCAA big body that understands the game. He's well-coached ... a winner."
  • "Collin Olson might be the steal of this draft. A big kid who only wins, he didn't get enough credit for US-NDTP's success. He lacks some athleticism but just stops the puck."
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