The Carolina Hurricanes went off the board a bit with their second and third picks of the third round of the 2016 NHL Draft, selecting Spokane Chiefs center Hudson Elynuik with the 74th overall pick and Wisconsin high school goaltender Jack LaFontaine one pick later.
Elynuik, playing for the Western Hockey League franchise that Canes coach Bill Peters once coached, becomes one of the tallest players in the system, measuring 6’5" and 201 pounds. He was unranked in the TSN top 80, but posted 44 points in 55 games with Spokane this season, his third with the Chiefs.
From Red Line Report:
Played in a remote market with no other draft eligible players, meaning scouts didn’t get out to see him often. But flashed surprising skills for such a huge man-child, and also has NHL bloodlines.
The last remark refers to his father, former NHL forward Pat Elynuik, who was the eighth overall pick in the 1986 NHL draft by the Winnipeg Jets and played 506 games in the NHL with the Jets, Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators.
One pick later, the Hurricanes selected LaFontaine, a 6’2", 185-pound goaltender who played this season for the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League. He has committed to the University of Michigan starting next season. He will slot into the system behind Alex Nedeljkovic and Callum Booth, replenishing the pipeline when Nedeljkovic presumably joins the Charlotte Checkers next season.
From The Draft Analyst:
Mature and personable big bodied goalie. LaFontaine is an active goalie who reads plays well, especially cross-ice passes. He’s quite athletic for a big kid and plays an aggressive style. The fact that he has an active stick and exceptional puck-handling abilities almost makes him a third defenseman, but his timing on dump-ins is somewhat inconsistent. Still, his positioning is solid, and his reset ability coupled with a quick glove make him hard to beat when he allows rebound attempts. LaFontaine has a great attitude toward both his craft and the game of hockey, and will likely develop faster than most of his peers.