Well, this is it. My final piece before the Carolina Hurricanes make a selection in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. This time, I’ll be doing a seven round mock draft for the Carolina Hurricanes. No other teams will be involved, so the computer will be picking for 31 other teams in this draft. If you’re curious, I’m linking the draft simulator that I’ll be using. It’s a fun tool and you can adjust randomness levels for pure chaos drafts. The settings will not be changed in this run through, however.
27th Overall - Oskar Olausson, HV71
The Hurricanes pick the best player available, in my opinion. Olausson has 20+ goal upside at the NHL level and is one of the more dynamic players available to them at this position. I considered Isak Rosen and Zach Dean in this position but went with my gut here, selecting Olausson. I feel that he’s more in line with the Hurricanes’ recent draft picks and his upside is too high to pass on. Olausson could be a top-six scorer if he hits his potential. Dean might make me regret not picking him, however. I like his upside and the pace at which he plays would be a great fit for the Hurricanes. Olausson has more game-breaking potential, however, so I’m confident in this pick.
59th Overall - Ville Koivunen, Karpat U20
I was shocked when I saw that Koivunen was available when the Hurricanes picked in the second round. He’s a bubble prospect for the second round, but in a year of uncertainty, I suppose that his stock fell in the simulation. Koivunen has a lot of strong offensive tools and can play on either wing, making him a great pick for the Hurricanes. I strongly considered going with a defenseman here. The Hurricanes haven’t picked a defenseman in the first two rounds of the draft since they picked Luke Martin in 2017, and we all know how that worked out. Still, I chose Koivunen because I felt that he was the best player available for the Hurricanes. Not to mention the connection to Karpat, which is owned by Sebastian Aho’s father, Harri Aho.
91st Overall - Kirill Kirsanov, SKA St. Petersburg
Kirsanov is another player that falls to the Hurricanes. He is ranked as a bubble second round prospect but I could see him fall for a couple of reasons. For starters, Russian prospects tend to fall a little further than they should in the draft because NHL teams tend to avoid Russian players. The ones that don’t avoid Russian players keep drafting good Russian players. Funny how that works. The second reason is due to Kirsanov’s skating being average at best. Even if he improves his stride, it’ll likely limit him to second-pairing minutes at best. Still, the potential is intriguing and he saw a good amount of ice time at the KHL level this season.
123rd Overall - Yegor Savikov, Lada Togliatti
The Hurricanes select back-to-back Russian defensemen in this draft, going with offensive defenseman Yegor Savikov. Being able to squeeze extra points out of your blue line can be critical to a team’s success, and there’s a chance that Savikov could be a power play quarterback capable of putting up a lot of points. His size might be a barrier to NHL success, but I like the puck moving skills from this defenseman.
187th Overall - Brody Lamb, Dodge County Wildcats
The Hurricanes seem to take at least one US-based High School skater in each draft, and they pick Brody Lamb in the sixth round. Lamb has some goal scoring potential and will have time to develop before heading to the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2022. High school players are always risks because of the lack of competition at their level, but the Hurricanes can afford to wait five or more years for Lamb to develop.
200th Overall - Ty Murchison, USNTDP
Murchison is the third defenseman selected by the Hurricanes in this draft. He’s a very raw prospect but size, physicality and more stand out as possible NHL tools. In the later rounds of the draft, you’re looking for one or two things in a player’s game to help them develop around. Murchison will have four years at Arizona State University to do just that.
209th Overall - Tomas Suchanek, HC Frydek-Mistek
Suchanek had a rough go of things this season but is still ranked as the sixth best European goaltender in the draft. He’ll be playing for Tri-City in the WHL next season, so he’ll likely see time as a rebuilding team’s starting goalie. Since you’re drafting Suchanek from the Czech leagues, technically, you’ll have longer than two years to let him develop into a professional goalie. There are still some risks, but adding another goalie to the pipeline is never a bad idea. You never know what can happen.
219th Overall - Noah Meier, GC Kusnacht
With their final pick in the 2021 draft, the Hurricanes select offensive defenseman Noah Meier from Switzerland. The Hurricanes almost never draft Swiss players, so this might be a tough sell for their staff. Meier is another defenseman and without any long-term transfer agreements between the Swiss leagues and the NHL, the Hurricanes can afford to let Meier develop for as long as he needs to. It’s a low-risk selection for the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes used four of their eight picks on defensemen in this draft in order to shore up their depth. The Canes’ defensive depth in the pipeline has waned in recent years, so stocking up on some defensemen might be a good idea in this draft. While Kirsanov and Savikov may have their risks, I believe that the rewards are worth taking a chance on each player. Bias aside, I like the first two picks for the Hurricanes in this draft. After that, things get a little more gray. There aren’t any sure things in this draft class, and it’s a weaker class than most. I’ll provide my thoughts on Twitter as well as on the Canes Country site, so be sure to tune in for more draft content.