With two picks in the fourth round Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes added another pair of promising young players to their stable of prospects.
With the 96th pick (acquired in the Marcus Kruger-Jordan Martinook swap with Arizona), the Canes grabbed QMJHL center Luke Henman. In his second year in the Q last year, Henman posted nine goals and 47 points in 61 regular-season games for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, adding six goals and 14 points in 20 playoff games.
At 6-foot-even and just 150 pounds, Henman has some serious filling out to do before he’s ready to crack an NHL lineup. At 18 years old, he’s not eligible to play in Charlotte, so look for him to play at least one more year in the Q next season.
With the 104th pick, Carolina went back to the well, taking a Finnish forward for the fourth straight draft with Lenni Killinen. Killinen brings a decent frame at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, with maybe some bulking up still to do.
The Espoo, Finland native played for a number of teams last year. In 20 games with the Blues U20 of of the Jr. A SM-liiga, Killinen posted 13 goals and 41 points in 38 games. He also played 10 games with Espoo United of Mestis, putting up two goals and four points in 10 games.
Killinen is slated to play for Assat of the Finnish Liiga next year, either with the U20 team or adult team.
Henman: A high-reward type pick in Henman by Carolina, who is only scratching the surface in terms of putting together his all-around game. As a very lanky prospect, putting weight on is a must, especially as he projects as a center long term. Has the frame to do so.
More of a playmaker then a finisher at this point, It’s easy to see his hockey IQ on display when he makes the players around him better. He possesses a good shot and is a good skater and his overall skill set checks a lot of boxes. He’s a long way off, but is a high-upside project. Expect a big jump in production this year. - Kevin LeBlanc
Killinen: A big winger with scoring potential. Strong, powerful skater who can really shoot the puck, attacks to the net effectively and has good puck skills. My main concern is his tendency to be invisible for long periods and he also needs to gain more muscle. But he’s definitely skilled and has the potential to develop into a solid NHLer down the road. - Marco Bombino
They Said It
Killinen was not in attendance, but here’s what Henman had to say:
Just to hear your name called is a special feeling. I’m happy to be here with my family and friends. It’s just unbelievable right now. Last night was good, I had a couple of buddies who got drafted last night so I was happy for them, but obviously I was here for myself and it was a bit nervous up there, but I’m really happy.
I sort of play like a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, a two-way forward, really smart, good passer, high hockey IQ.
I [interviewed with the Canes] at the combine. It’s tough to know who’s interested, so you just try to showcase yourself and show them what kind of person you are and what you can bring to them.
Hurricanes scouting director Tony MacDonald:
Very smart, tenacious, plays well with and without the puck. He was a go-to guy for them as a young player in Montreal, Joel Bouchard went to him in critical situations. He’s a lightweight at this point in time, not a big man, but hopefully he will fill in in time and get bigger and stronger. He’s tall enough, just a skinny, light kid who needs to add some mass. Tremendous competitor, that was the big thing about him. Gritty kid, very smart player, and a guy who makes the players around him better.
He’s an interesting kid. He’s a hard worker, and a hard guy to play against. He plays a complete game, a little bit like Andrei [Svechnikov] in that sense. He’s a good skater, he has decent size and he’s going to get stronger and bigger moving forward. We think the upside there is significant. He’s been a pretty good player for their team, and we expect that he’ll have a pretty good season over there this year.