The Carolina Hurricanes added 11 players to the organization last weekend in Los Angeles. They made trades, they added scoring, and they built up the present and the future of their blueline. We talked a lot about the new players acquired here at Canes Country, but let's review the draft results one more time and then get your feedback.
7th overall, Jeff Skinner: There is no doubting his scoring ability, but will he be quick enough and strong enough to succeed in the NHL? His rankings were somewhat mixed, but Tony MacDonald said that the Canes had him ranked higher than Cam Fowler and Brandon Gormley, two highly regarded defensemen whose stock dropped that Friday night.
The Hockey News recently had this pick as the number one "Draft Day Steal"
Pre Draft Rankings: CSS 34 ISS 9 RLR 7 McKeen's 12
37th overall, Justin Faulk: The defenseman is known to have the hardest shot in the draft and scored 21 goals last season, including nine in just 21 games while playing in the USHL. Still, Jon Merrill was ranked higher by most scouting services, making the pick a bit of a surprise to those closely watching those services. But, there is no questioning Faulk's scoring ability and his coach gave him very high marks.
"Justin might be the sleeper of the group. His offensive ability really stands out, but he is also good defensively. He is as strong as an ox and shoots the puck extremely well. He's probably our most underrated player, who just now is starting to catch people's eye, but how could he not. He's just a powerful kid."
Pre Draft Rankings: CSS 56 ISS 67 RLR 21 McKeen's 44
The Canes traded their next pick which was acquired from Ottawa, the 46th overall, to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Riley Nash. The Oilers felt a bit put off by Nash, who has spent three years in Cornell, but the former 21st overall selection will be attending the Hurricanes conditioning camp this week.
53rd Overall, Mark Alt: This pick looks like it might be a bit of a wild card as Alt is a huge kid who skates very well and is a physical defender, but he did not show up for the draft and is also going to miss this week's conditioning camp. He recently made a commitment to hockey over football, but will he change his mind?
Pre Draft Rankings: CSS 37 ISS 77 RLR 46 McKeen's 86
67th Overall, Danny Biega: The defenseman is already attending Harvard and is known as a fast skater who beats opponents to the puck. If the Canes wanted a smart player, it's hard to top this one.
Pre Draft Rankings: CSS 46 ISS 50 RLR 94 McKeen's 67
85th Overall, Austin Levi: A big defenseman who is looked upon as somewhat of a project, but with enough raw talent to gamble with here.
Pre Draft Rankings: CSS 156 ISS - RLR 106 McKeen's 118
105th Overall, Justin Shugg: It's puzzling why he dropped this low. The Canes were not expecting to draft him, but could not turn down this opportunity. Second leading scorer on Memorial Cup Champion Windsor team with 30 goals.
Pre Draft Rankings: CSS 53 ISS 52 RLR 72 McKeen's 74
The Canes traded their next pick, the 157th overall along with next year's second rounder acquired from Washington for Bobby Sanguinetti, a defenseman who played in Hartford last season. Sanguinetti will have an immediate opportunity to make the team this coming season.
167th Overall, Tyler Stahl: The big blueliner is known for laying big hits on his opponents, but can he also play solid defense? He's another project with possible upside.
Pre Draft Rankings: CSS 116 ISS 89 RLR - McKeen's -
187th Overall, Frederik Andersen: The scouts were impressed by this Danish goalie but he was totally under the radar and was not listed by any of the major ranking services.
Finally, the Hurricanes traded their last pick, Washington's 7th rounder to Philadelphia for Jonathan Matsumoto, a 30 goal scorer in the AHL while playing for the Adirondack Phantoms. The Canes recently signed the center to a two year, two-way contract.
Jim Rutherford and Tony MacDonald were both extremely pleased with the draft and said that "everything fell into place" for them. What do you think?
Of course, it's unreasonable to truly grade a draft until a few years have passed by and everyone can see how the players have performed, but based upon expectations and perception, how would you grade this draft for the Hurricanes?