We have spent much of the last month talking about the draft here at Canes Country but we are now just a day away and it is time for yet another article to pretty much summarize what we have been discussing.
Should the Canes move up in the draft of should they stay put? Would the cost to move up be too high? Is it better to have two picks and two players later in the draft, or one higher-rated player? Should they trade a first round pick for an established player?
There are a plethora of possibilities for Carolina management to consider.
Rumors are a-plenty out there, as always, but no one knows for sure what Ron Francis is intending to do. Perhaps Francis himself just has to sit back and wait for things to unfold before he can make a final decision.
Might the Canes make a trade with the Rangers to obtain an established forward like Derek Stepan? Could they try to obtain one of the New York RFA's like J.T. Miller or Chris Kreider? The Rangers have no draft picks in the first two rounds so they are itching to do something.
Another possibility is that Carolina could take on the cap hit left by Pavel Datsyuk in Detroit and take another prospect from them. Since Datsyuk is playing in the KHL no actual cash would have to be paid, but the cap hit remains, basically crippling Detroit's chances of landing an expensive free agent on July 1.
Could the Canes move up in the draft high so they can get Jesse Puljujarvi, a projected Finnish superstar who would fit in perfectly with the team's other stable of Finns? Supposedly, the Blue Jackets are listening to offers for their third overall pick, but that won't be easy and it won't come cheaply.
We have already discussed Edmonton at number four. They seem to be all ears listening to offers but is someone like Matthew Tkachuk worth what it would cost to move up? Is he worth Carolina's two picks in the first round?
Logan Brown has got nice size (6'6 - 225) and plenty of skill. Some scouts have him projected as a franchise type first line center. If the Hurricanes wanted him they would have to trade up, not as high as number four, but most likely in the top ten. Is he on their radar?
The Hurricanes need scoring so they most likely will be looking at forwards. Several forwards will be taken before number 13, but there will be some promising players available, like Kieffer Bellows, Michael McLeod, or Julien Gauthier.
Perhaps one of the higher rated forwards will slip to 13, like Tyson Jost, Clayton Keller, or even Brown.
Then at number 21, players like Riley Tufte, Max Jones, Luke Kunin, and German Rubstov might be available.
One player we have not talked about much but who the Canes might look at is Alex DeBrincat, a smaller skater who scored 102 goals the past two years in junior. He will probably be on the board at number 21.
It will be interesting to follow, no matter what the Hurricanes do. One thing for sure, they will be better after this weekend than they are right now.
We will have open threads for discussion all day on Friday and Saturday, (although you can always leave comments and discuss things all day anyway.) Brian, NotOpie and I will be posting the news as it happens.