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He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - Draft Preview

Remember back before the 2005 draft? The Hurricanes had done very well in the draft lottery which gave them the 3rd overall pick, and all the experts were drooling about Jack Johnson, the can't-miss American defenseman who was destined to be the first blueliner picked immediately following Sidney Crosby and Bobby Ryan.

But suddenly a week or so before the draft, a rumor was leaked out which indicated that Jim Rutherford and company were seriously thinking about drafting Marc Staal with that 3rd overall pick. Were they crazy? Were they sentimental fools? Did they want to pick him just because he was Eric's brother?

Marc was very highly rated in his own right, but supposedly not in the same class that JJ was. When draft day came, sure enough Johnson was available at number three and the Canes went with conventional wisdom and selected him over Staal.

Do you think that they might regret making that decision now?

The next year in 2006, everyone in the hockey world knew that the Penguins were going to select Jordan Staal with the 2nd overall pick in that draft. But once again, there was a last minute rumor. Supposedly, the Canes were going to offer Andrew Ladd and a lower pick in order to select Jordan for themselves.

The alleged deal never transpired, but it seems pretty clear that Jim Rutherford would love to have another Staal brother on the roster. And who can blame him?

The Hurricanes have one more chance to draft a Staal this year. The youngest of the brothers, Jared is available and while he doesn't have the stats or hype that his brothers had when they entered the draft, the 18 year old doesn't look too shabby on paper.

Here is his draft preview according to TSN-

Right Winger, 6'3, 198, 60GP, 21G, 28A, 49P, 44PIM.

From TSN: The name is instantly recognizable and whatever the future holds for the fourth and youngest of the Staal brothers (Eric, Marc and Jordan), he'll have a tough time measuring up to his elder siblings. But scouts were flabbergasted that he tested as poorly as he did at the Central Scouting Combine. Still, there is considerable interest and while some suggested he might get first-round consideration, there are more who believe he's better suited as a third-round pick.

From NHL Central Scouting: With the great Staal family reputation and the high expectations brought on by his brothers, Jared is coming into his own -- he's just growing into his 'big Staal body', which is very similar to that of his brothers. He comes off the wing with the desire to go to the net.

He has decent size and he can score, but he had a poor Scouting Combine. Was he hurt? Was he injured? I don't know all the details, but I wouldn't count this kid out.

He's not projected to be selected in the first round but if he is still available in the 2nd when it's Carolina's turn, I would bet a wooden nickel that the Canes will pick him. They may even trade up a bit in the 2nd round to ensure that they get him.

The Hurricanes have the 14th overall pick, then they pick in the 15th slot in the 2nd round, (45th overall, one pick lower than normal because Phoenix was given an extra pick due to the Blake Wheeler fiasco). Carolina doesn't have a 3rd round pick. (It was traded to the NY Rangers in the Matt Cullen deal)

Here is one of many listings of the prospects, this one from

1. Stamkos, Steven C 5.11 176 R 2/4/90 Sarnia (OHL)
2. Filatov, Nikita LW 6.00 165 L 5/25/90 Moscow CSKA-2 (RusDi)
3. Bogosian, Zach RD 6.02 197 R 7/15/90 Peterborough (OHL)
4. Doughty, Drew RD 6.00 219 R 12/8/89 Guelph (OHL)
5. Pietrangelo, Alex RD 6.03 206 R 1/18/90 Niagara (OHL)
6. Schenn, Luke RD 6.02 216 R 11/2/89 Kelowna (WHL)
7. Boedker, Mikkel LW 5.11 195 L 12/16/89 Kitchener (OHL)
8. Wilson, Colin C 6.01 215 L 10/20/89 Boston U. (H.E.)
9. Hodgson, Cody C 5.11 185 R 2/18/90 Brampton (OHL)
10. Sbisa, Luca LD 6.01 190 L 1/30/90 Lethbridge (WHL)
11. Bailey, Joshua C 6.00 188 L 10/2/89 Windsor (OHL)
12. Boychuk, Zac C 5.09 175 L 10/4/89 Lethbridge (WHL)
13. Beach, Kyle C 6.03 203 R 1/13/90 Everett (WHL)
14. Tedenby, Mattias LW 5.09 165 L 2/21/90 HV71 (SweJE)
15. Myers, Tyler RD 6.07 204 R 2/1/90 Kelowna (WHL)
16. Petrov, Kirill LW 6.03 198 L 4/13/90 Kazan (RusDi)
17. Teubert, Colten RD 6.03 185 R 3/8/90 Regina (WHL)
18. Del Zotto, Michael LD 5.11 211 L 6/24/90 Oshawa (OHL)
19. Robak, Colby LD 6.03 194 L 4/24/90 Brandon (WHL)
20. Dalpe, Zac C 6.00 170 R 11/1/89 Penticton (BCHL)
21. Carlson, John RD 6.02 212 R 1/10/90 Indiana (USHL)
22. Karlsson, Erik D 5.11 165 R 5/31/90 Vastra Frolunda (SweJE)
23. Colborne, Joe LW 6.05 190 L 1/30/90 Camrose (AJHL)
24. Grachev, Evgeny C 6.03 202 R 2/21/90 Yaroslavl (RusDi)
25. Deschamps, Nicholas C 6.00 173 L 1/6/90 Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
26. Nemisz, Greg C 6.03 197 C 6/6/90 Windsor (OHL)
27. Toews, David LW 5.10 175 L 6/7/90 Shattuck-St (MN-HS)
28. Ness, Aaron LD 5.10 162 L 5/18/90 Roseau (MN-HS)
29. Gardiner, Jake D 6.02 170 L 7/4/90 Minnetonka (MN-HS)
30. Eberle, Jordan C 5.10 174 R 5/15/90 Regina (WHL)

While Mattias Tedenby is ranked number 14 on this chart, the Swede is ranked much lower on others. TSN has the Canes selecting Zac Boychuk in their mock draft. FoxSports also has the Canes selecting Boychuk. Keep in mind that the Plymouth Whalers recently drafted Zac Dalpe, so he has been on the scouting staff's radar as well.

Boychuk had 31 goals and 39 assists in 61 games for Lethbridge while Dalpe had 27 goals and 36 assists for Penticton. The Canes could also opt for a defenseman because the draft is unusually top heavy with decent blue-liners this year.

I have never watched these kids play, so I think that it would be pretty disingenuous of me to attempt to rank these players on my own, or give an opinion of who I think the Canes should draft. But after reading some of the bios, Colten Teubert looks interesting.

From TSN: The hard-rock defenceman, who draws comparisons to Shea Weber and Adam Foote, is as competitive and feisty a player as there is in this draft. What he lacks in offensive upside, he makes up for with his ferocity and defensive prowess. He relishes the opportunity to go head-to-head with the other teams' top players. By all accounts, there is no love lost between him and Kyle Beach.

From NHL Central Scouting: Colten is a smooth skating defenseman, who can skate the puck out of trouble and can jump up the ice with the puck. Has the ability to take charge of the game.

He's currently ranked 13th by TSN and could fall to Carolina.

Don't rule out a Jared Staal surprise though. I saw one mock draft which had him selected by New Jersey at number 21.

A couple of years ago, some scouts were touting him as possibly being the best of all the Staal brothers. He has the size and the pedigree and he just might end up being the hidden gem of this draft.

With my next posting, we'll look at some of the trade rumors out there. Some are crazy, some not so much.