Everything went as planned for the Carolina Hurricanes Friday night, with prized defenseman Noah Hanifin falling to No. 5 and landing with the Canes.
Hanifin, who played his freshman season with Boston College, was long considered the third-best prospect in this year’s draft, but he — like defensemen Cam Fowler, Seth Jones and others before him — slid down the draft and right into the Canes’ lap.
"It's an honor to be drafted by this team," Hanifin said to NBC Sports Network reporter Kathryn Tappen. "I'm going to sit down and talk to my coaches, my advisors at BC and we'll figure something out."
Tappen asked about Hanifin’s admiration for Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith, and Hanifin didn't shy away from the comparison.
"That's living up to a big name," Hanifin said. "Duncan Keith is a great player, but I have some similarities to him. ... I need to keep playing, working hard and some day I can have the impact he's had."
Here is the release from the team:
HURRICANES SELECT NOAH HANIFIN FIFTH OVERALL
Boston College blueliner won gold with U.S. at 2014 U-18 World Championship
RALEIGH, NC – The Carolina Hurricanes on Friday selected defenseman Noah Hanifin with the fifth overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, FL.
Hanifin, 18, completed his freshman season at Boston College in 2014-15, notching five goals and earning 18 assists (23 points) in 37 games played. The Boston, MA, native became the youngest player to ever skate with the Eagles when he played his first collegiate game at age 17 in October 2014. He finished the 2014-15 season ranked third in scoring among all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) freshmen defensemen, and was named a Hockey East Second Team All-Star. Hanifin also was a unanimous selection to the Hockey East Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team, and represented Boston College as a Division I New England All-Star.
Prior to joining Boston College, Hanifin (6’3", 203 lbs.) played the 2013-14 season with the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) Under-17 team. He recorded 33 points (8g, 25a) in 45 games with the U-17 team, and also earned 13 points (2g, 11a) in 14 games with the U-18 team. Internationally, Hanifin captained Team USA to gold at the 2014 World Under-17 Challenge, and finished tied for second among tournament defenseman as the United States won gold at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) U-18 World Championship.