Throughout day two of the 2020 NHL Draft, the Hurricanes’ draft picks will be available to the media via Zoom for interviews. Andrew and Ryan will be updating this story with highlights of those interviews, so be sure to keep checking back here throughout the day:
With their first day-two pick, the Canes selected right wing Noel Gunler out of Sweden, who turned 19 today (talk about a birthday present) and is self-described as a strong offensive player who brings playmaking abilities and a good shot.
On his level of excitement: It’s my birthday, so I got a pretty good birthday gift. I’m so happy and proud to be picked by the Carolina Hurricanes. I couldn’t be happier.
On waiting during the first round: I was up yesterday, the draft started at like one a.m. here. So I went to bed around six and I had practice at 8:30, so I didn’t even sleep two hours. It was a pretty tough wait yesterday, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I couldn’t be happier to be drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes.
On what Canes fans should know about him: They should know that I’m a guy that can shoot the puck and score goals. I will do everything in my power to be a guy that can help the organization.
On what he brings on the ice: I bring a threat in the offensive zone with my shot and my playmaking abilities, that’s for sure. My vision and knowing where to be on the ice to find open space for my shot and making plays, opening up space for my teammates to create chances. I think I’m a pretty good two-way better. I can play in both ends, but the offensive zone is my biggest thing.
With their second second-round pick, the Hurricanes selected center Vasiliy Ponomarev from the QMJHL, where he scored 49 points in 57 games for Shawinigan and is described as a promising two-way forward whose an agile skater and strong on his feet.
On what the feeling was like hearing his name: I’m very much happy because it is a dream come true. I liked that Carolina picked me because Sergei Samsonov is from Zelenograd too. I know him a little bit and I think it’s going to be perfect.
On what Hurricanes fans should know about him: I’m a hard worker and I’ll help you to win a Stanley Cup.
On what his best skill are: I have good hockey vision. I can play two steps forward and I have a very good shot and stick-handling.
On what the wait was like: I can’t explain it. You just have goosebumps and you feel that you can just become a better player. You aren’t yet in the NHL, but you can improve your good skills and improve the bad ones.
On reason for playing in North America: I want to play in the NHL, not the KHL. The best hockey is North American.
With their fourth-round pick at No. 115, the Canes selected another Swede, skilled winger Zion Nybeck. No, there’s no connection to former Duke basketball star Zion Williamson, but Nybeck has heard of him. Nybeck is on the small side at 5-foot-8, but by many accounts his skill makes up for it.
On being drafted and what he brings to the table: I think I’m a pretty smart player on the ice and I think that’s helped me a lot. I think I’m just growing more and more in my game. I think I’m going to be a great player for the Hurricanes.
On the feeling getting drafted: I got really excited. I don’t know a lot about Carolina but it seems like a cool place, so I’m really excited.
On if he had any inkling that the Hurricanes were interested in him: Not so much. I talked to them but I didn’t know they were going to pick me, so this was fun.
On what Canes fans should know about him: I’m a pretty calm person and I give it 100% all the time on the ice. I think that’s something they should know about me.