It's very difficult to have either fans or experts agree on who will be selected with the first five choices of this coming NHL Entry Draft. Obviously, it's much more difficult to determine who will be available at pick 35 or later.
The good news is that most scouts and pundits agree that this is a very deep draft and highly regarded players will be selected even into the third round.
Let's take a quick look at a few players who might be available for the Canes.
Ryan Hartman - RW 5'11 185 lbs. Plymouth Whalers 56GP 23G 37A 120PIM
I have seen Hartman's name listed in many top 30 drafts and ratings, but as a projected third line player, I left him out of my first round. He does possess many attributes wanted by any team. Some quotes: "never takes a shift off" "smart player, has hockey sense" "hockey IQ is through the roof" "can play center or wing". We all know, the Hurricanes love the Whalers, so if Hartman is still available at 35 it should not shock anyone to hear his name called. Still, the Canes might be better served to look for more size here. (Will he be the next Chad LaRose in Carolina?)
Michael McCarron - RW 6'5 227 lbs. NTDB-18 59GP 16G 21A 182PIM
Speaking of size, this dude has it and is not afraid to use it. He had a great juniors tournament scoring 3G and 2A in seven games for Team USA U18. He's not the greatest skater nor is he oozing skill, but he is showing improvement. He's committed to Western Michigan next season.
Pavel Buchnevich - LW 6'0 170 lbs. KHL 12GP 1G 1A 0PIM
Some scouts say that Buchnevich is the second best player available out of Russia this year, behind only Valeri Nichushkin. He out-scored Nichushkin in Russian Juniors, 24GP 8G 15A 36PIM. He has tons of skill but the Russian factor comes into play as he is under contract with his KHL team for two more years. (Calling Mark Gandler, calling Mark Gandler.)
Jacob De La Rose - C/W 6'2 185 lbs. Leksand Sweden 38GP 6G 6A 31PIM
Here's another player in many top 30 lists. If he is still available at 35, he could be a steal. He plays all three forward positions, is solid in his own end, and plays with a physical edge. He also has an explosive first step. There are conflicting reports about his offensive upside. Some project him as a solid third liner.
Nicolas Petan - C 5'9 165 lbs. Portland Winterhawks 71GP 46G 74A 43PIM
Yet another player in many top 30 lists but most teams are going to be concerned about his size. Still, if he is available in the second round, he might be worth a long look. He has tons of skill and eyes in the back of his head. Not only did he average over an assist a game during the regular season in the WHL, he had nine assists in five Memorial Cup games.
Bogdan Yakimov - LW 6'5 200 lbs. MHL (Russian Juniors) 11GP 6G 7A 2PIM
Here is another Russian youngster that is going to be a project, but if he is available in the third round or later he is worth a look. He has great hands and skill, but is not yet physical. He does use his size well in protecting the puck.
Defensemen: (many of these guys are in the top 30 of some mock drafts and rankings, but they all cannot make it)
Shea Theodore - D 6'2 160 lbs Seattle Thunderbirds 71GP 19G 31A 32PIM
Considered an excellent puck mover and is "trustworthy" in his own end.
Madison Bowey - D 6'1 194 lbs. Kelowna Rockets 69GP 12G 18A 75PIM
Not in my top 30 but in many others. Big, strong, and responsible in own end. Likes to risk big hits in the open ice. His overall game has improved a lot during the course of the season.
Chris Bigras - D 6'0 190 lbs. Owen Sound Attack 66GP 8G 30A 34PIM
He is called a "rock" defensively, is a "well rounded" defenseman, and takes pride in covering his own end. He is also good at the outlet pass but is not a star on offense.
Ian McCoshan - D 6'3 205 Waterloo Black Hawks USHL 53GP 11G 33A 48PIM
Does everything well and plays important, "big" minutes for his team. He is not very physical for his size, but is positionally sound.
Goalies: (If either of these guys are available in the third round or later, they might be a real bargain. Picking them at number 35 though could be a reach.)
Eric Comrie - G 6'0 175 lbs. Tri City Americans 37GP 20-14-1 2SO GAA 2.62 SV% .915
Second rated goalie in draft and many have him going in the second round.
Tristan Jarry - G 6'2 180 lbs Edmonton Oil Kings 27GP 18-7-0 6SO GAA1.61 SV% .936
This kid posted unbelievable numbers as a second stringer for his team. He is rated as the third best goalie prospect in North America.