When asked Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles how he felt about the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford answered with confidence (and maybe some relief), "This is a year in which things fell the way we hoped they would. We're really excited about the players we got."
With eleven new names added to the rosters and depth charts, I've put together a collection of links to introduce you to each of these eleven hockey players now in the system. Today I've got the goods on the first five, and tomorrow we'll look at the other six.
First up, a couple synopses of the Canes Draft results:
Hurricanes Wrap-up 2010 NHL Entry Draft - Carolina Hurricanes Paul Branecky goes through picks 2 through 11 and explains what happened with each
Canes Add 10 Players on Day Two - Carolina Hurricanes Some came via the draft and some came via trades, but at the end of the [second] day the Hurricanes ended up with 10 new additions.
The CanesVision online video center is full of quick-hit features on the players and thoughts from head scout Tony MacDonald.
After the jump, a one-by-one look at Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk, Riley Nash, Mark Alt, and Danny Biega.
(1st round, 7th overall)
Media High on Skinner: CarolinaHurricanes.com From Mike Sundheim: One thing I've heard pretty convincingly from everyone I've talked to is that we got a real player at seventh overall.
Canes draft prolific scorer Jeff Skinner - NewsObserver.com Jeff Skinner looks younger than 18 and doesn't look like he's "just over 5-10" in height, as he claims. But there's nothing deceiving about what Skinner does exceptionally well: score goals. That's what the Carolina Hurricanes are counting on.
Jeff Skinner of the Kitchener Rangers Named OHL Player of the Week April 11, 2010: Skinner scored six goals and two assists for eight points in four playoff games against the London Knights with a plus-minus rating of plus-4. Sounds like a very good week.
Here's the prospect video from NHL.com
And you might like this video after the Top Prospects Game in January, sitting next to his coach Bobby Orr, Don Cherry, and Taylor Hall taking questions from the Media. Skinner gets his moments at about the 2:00 and 4:00 marks. Pretty good company to be seen in.
(2nd Round, 37th overall)
Carolina Hurricanes Select Justin Faulk With 37th Overall Pick - Canes Country The Carolina Hurricanes went off the board a bit with their opening second round draft pick when they chose Justin Faulk, but Jim Rutherford was very pleased to get him. Includes video meeting with the media in LA after his selection.
Rink & Run (Duluth MN News Tribune) "I know we’re going to have a very good team at UMD and the coaches have told me I should be prepared to step in and make an impact," Faulk said from Los Angeles. "How long I spend in college will depend on Carolina’s needs. There’s no set time table."
2010 NHL Draft Prospect: Justin Faulk - Western College Hockey Blog A profile of NHL Draft prospect Justin Faulk
USA Hockey on Justin Faulk Excuse Faulk if you ask him about his power-play goal secret. Eight of his 11 goals this season are on the power play. "I’m not sure," Faulk laughed. "I have been getting in the right places and picking the right spots. It is coming pretty good so far. There is no secret; they are coming to me. I have found my shot on the power play."
It's difficult to find video of Faulk, but with a little work I found the following highlights for the U-18 Worlds in Belarus in April, where Team USA took home the Gold. According to the USA Hockey re-cap, in the 5-0 trouncing of Team Finland in their semifinal match, Faulk, #27 in white, "intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, skated down the right wing and slid the puck to Shore, who backhanded it past Ilhati at 9:22 to give the U.S. a 4-0 lead in the third." See it here just past the 2:50 mark:
After watching this, I can see how maybe he's not exactly a "defense first" kind of player; at least not yet. I suspect the program at the University of Minnesota at Duluth should help him out with that.
Finally this from Saturday, Family Ties, Both Natural and Created, Big to Faulk : U.S. College Hockey Online
The NTDP boys (12 of whom were drafted this year) hung out all the time and still stay in touch. They even handed out a few superlatives at the end of the year to each other as well. "I got Most Likely To Be a Zamboni Driver," Faulk said. "I think I got that because a lot of the guys just know I love to be around the rink and hang out. I love hockey and that’s just kind of the way I am as a person. "But memory-wise, winning the gold medal in Belarus this past spring was definitely one of the best memories. We dreamed of that for the last two years as a team. That was our goal from day one. It was just great."
(acquired in a trade with Edmonton Oilers for 46th pick)
Hurricanes Bolster Depth By Acquiring Bobby Sanguinetti, Riley Nash - Canes Country Carolina Hurricanes seal draft weekend by nabbing two former first-rounders.
VIDEO: Edmonton Oilers: Management on trading Riley Nash General Manager Steve Tambellini & head scout Stu MacGregor comment on the trading the Oilers' 2007 1st round pick, Riley Nash.
Also, I found this video of Nash at Oilers development camp last summer in Edmonton.
From last summer to give you some background, Cornell Forward Nash Continues to Impress, Attracts Preseason Talk | The Cornell Daily Sun Nash’s line of 12 goals and 20 points in 36 games in 2007-08 was good enough to earn him several honors and awards, including Ivy League Rookie of the Year and ECAC Hockey Freshman of the Year
Stuck in the Fast Lane: Is There A Riley Nash Divide? From October 2009, speculating on Riley Nash as a Hobey Baker candidate.
(2nd round, 53rd overall)
2010 NHL Draft Prospect: Mark Alt - Western College Hockey Blog A profile of NHL Draft prospect Mark Alt
Alt adding new sport to family resume - NHL.com For Mark Alt, son of an All-Pro NFL offensive lineman, it was an easy decision to pick hockey ahead of football
Providing this as some background, from Dec 1, 2009, Alt Wavers on Hockey - Western College Hockey Blog Mark Alt may choose to play college football instead of hockey. After a strong performance at the Scouting Combine in May, and a commitment to play hockey in Minnesota, it sound like he wants to be a hockey player.
Alt was not present at the draft at the Staples Center on Saturday.
(3rd round, 67th overall)
Hurricanes Add Danny Biega at 67th Overall - Canes Country Includes video from LA with media after his selection early in the third round.
Biega tops among college defensemen - NHL.com Danny Biega is the third brother to skate for the Crimson this season, and he could become the highest-drafted member of his family this week.
* * * *
That's it for today. Tomorrow we'll look at Justin Shugg, Bobby Sanguinetti, Austin Levi, Tyler Stahl, Jonathan Matsumoto, and the Danish goalie prospect, Frederik Andersen.