The Carolina Hurricanes are in the enviable position of owning two first round selections in the upcoming NHL Draft. They have the 13th pick as well as the 21st overall, (the pick acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in the Andrej Sekera deal last year.)
The Canes also own two picks in the second round, three in the third, and one in each of the following rounds for a total of 10 picks this draft. Taking this into consideration, along with the increasingly common idea that their stockpile of prospects has been growing and improving under Ron Francis, one could come to the conclusion that quality is more important than quantity right now for Carolina.
The Carolina general manager has already admitted that he will try to use some of his abundance of draft picks as bait to acquire an established player. But perhaps Francis is also contemplating using a couple of these picks to move up in the draft?
While the first three picks are most likely wrapped up because Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, and Jesse Puljujarvi are considered elite, possible future superstar performers, the fourth spot which is owned by the Edmonton Oilers, is up for bid. Oilers GM, Peter Chiarelli has made it known that he is listening to all offers for that pick and that there is a "real, legitimate chance" that a trade happens.
Should the Canes try to move up?
At number four, the Canes would have some great options. Matthew Tkachuk seems to be commonly placed at number four in several rankings and mock drafts. He had 107 points in 57 games for the London Knights.
Forwards, Alexander Nylander, PierreLuc Dubois, and even Logan Brown are also possibilities at that spot.
At number 13, those players mentioned above will be gone. The Canes would be taking from possibilities like Michael McLeod, Clayton Keller, Tyson Jost, or perhaps German Rubstov, still good prospects in their own right.
Is it worth it for the Canes to move up? Let's take a look at draft results over the past 14 years and compare the fourth overall picks against the ones taken at 13.
|Year||Pick 4||Pick 13|
|2015||Mitch Marner||Jakub Zboril|
|2014||Sam Bennett||Jakub Vrana|
|2013||Seth Jones||Josh Morrissey|
|2012||Griffin Reinhart||Radek Faksa|
|2011||Adam Larsson||Sven Bartschi|
|2010||Ryan Johansen||Brandon Gormley|
|2009||Evander Kane||Zack Kassian|
|2008||Alex Pietrangelo||Colten Teubert|
|2007||Thomas Hickey||Lars Eller|
|2006||Nicklas Backstrom||Jiri Tlusty|
|2005||Benoit Pouliot||Marek Zagrapan|
|2004||Andrew Ladd||Drew Stafford|
|2003||Nikolai Zherdev||Dustin Brown|
|2002||Joni Pitkanen||Alexander Semin|
There are certainly some interesting names on that chart. The Dallas Stars are not complaining about Faksa right now and obviously the Kings did well with the Dustin Brown pick. But while good players can be found at number 13 and beyond, your chances are better at number four.
Of course the cost is everything and while it might not be worth it to trade both number one picks to Edmonton to move to number four, it seems like it would be worth it to trade the 13th overall and a third and a second rounder to move up, if the Oilers would accept that.
The big question of course is, what is the cost?
It is worth noting that the last time the Hurricanes traded up to the number four spot things worked out pretty well. (Andrew Ladd).