DALLAS — A draft shrouded in uncertainty for the Carolina Hurricanes began, at least, with the one move that will surprise no one.
Following the Buffalo Sabres’ choice of Rasmus Dahlin with the top overall pick of the 2018 NHL Draft, the Hurricanes made the selection everyone expected, using the second pick on Barrie Colts winger Andrei Svechnikov. The top North American skater in the NHL’s Central Scouting rankings, Svechnikov’s selection was a fait accompli after his meetings with season-ticket members, local media, and Hurricanes brass multiple times over the past three weeks. He becomes the highest Hurricanes draft pick since they took Eric Staal second overall in 2003.
Below is a snippet of Kevin’s scouting analysis from when Canes Country selected Svechnikov with the second pick of the SBN mock draft:
At 6’3”, he is big enough to win battles both along the boards and at the front of the net, but he also has all the tools to be effective on the perimeter. He has the innate ability that so many top-end goal scorers possess where he can find an extra half second to unload his NHL-ready shot through and around defenders.
Although Svechnikov’s headliner is the arsenal of shot types he possesses, don’t sleep on his skating. He is a dynamic skater with elite balance on his skates, making him not only comfortable handling the puck at top speed, but also a nightmare to knock off of it in possession.
Still in question is whether the Hurricanes will move back into the first round via trade. Rumors have been flying around, most centering around the likes of Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk, Elias Lindholm and potentially Noah Hanifin, and a trade of any of them could allow the Canes a re-entry into the top 31 picks.
Assuming no other moves are made, the Hurricanes’ next selection will be the eleventh of the second round, 42nd overall, tomorrow morning.