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2022 Draft Recap, Analysis and Grades

Carolina added to an already deep pipeline with seven selections on Friday.

2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round 2-7 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

That was a fun draft, wouldn’t you say? It’s hard to believe that it went by so quickly, especially given how long the past two drafts were. The Hurricanes made two trades and selected seven players during day two of the draft, and I’m here to judge all of it. We’ll dive right in with the first move of the day, where the Hurricanes traded Tony DeAngelo’s signing rights to the Philadelphia Flyers.

DeAngelo Trade

Matt’s Grade: A

NHL insiders were reporting that morning that the Hurricanes weren’t able to get an extension done with DeAngelo and were then looking to trade him. We’ve seen the Hurricanes make this type of trade before, where they traded Joel Edmundson’s signing rights to Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2020. Obviously, the Hurricanes wanted to keep DeAngelo, but the team wasn’t going to give him the type of money that he wanted. Once it became clear that the money he wanted was going to be too much for them, they traded his rights to Philly.

It’s a great move. This is a player that you were going to lose for nothing, and instead, you turn it into the 101st overall pick this year, a third in next year’s draft and a second in 2024. Sure, it’s magic beans, but anything is better than nothing in this case. It’s a nice piece of work by Waddell & Co.

60th Overall - Gleb Trikozov

Matt’s Grade: A

I really like Gleb. He’s an elite offensive player that could be a legitimate top six forward at the next level. Signing Russian prospects might be a little more complicated, but the Hurricanes showed that it’s not impossible when they signed Alexander Pashin earlier this year. Trikozov is a pick that should excite Hurricanes fans. He’s exactly what the Hurricanes look for in a prospect: smart, quick on his feet and skilled.

This pick may be a bit of a slow burn, but once Trikozov reaches the NHL, the sky is the limit. We loved Gleb at Smaht Scouting. We loved Gleb enough to rank him eighth overall, well higher than any other outlet. While eighth may be a little high, Eliteprospects’ consolidated rankings had him at 28th, well higher than his actual draft position.

71st Overall - Alexander Perevalov

Matt’s Grade: B+

I like this pick a little less than the Gleb pick, but I do like this pick a lot. Perevalov has his flaws but is an incredibly skilled forward and could be a really nice bet on upside for the Hurricanes. There’s a tremendous amount of skill in Perevalov’s game and he’ll have enough time to develop in Russia before coming to North America.

This pick feels like the Puistola pick, in a way. Hear me out, though. Puistola has all the skill in the world and hasn’t quite put it together yet, and I’m getting a similar vibe from Perevalov. At this point in the draft, you should be taking swings on upside, not filling your pipeline with players that might be okay on your third or fourth line. The chances that those players end up being busts are just as high as Perevalov’s, so swing for upside.

101st Overall - Simon Forsmark

Matt’s Grade: B

Forsmark isn’t the flashiest defenseman but he shows potential as a two way defender at the next level. I view him more as a third pairing defenseman if he’s an NHL player, but he can join the rush and make smart passes in all three zones. I don’t know if he’ll ever pop offensively at the NHL level, which is why I view him as a third pairing defenseman.

Still, this is another fantastic pick given where the Hurricanes were able to draft Forsmark. Some sites had him ranked in the early second round and the Hurricanes managed to draft Forsmark 101st overall. It’s another great value selection by the Hurricanes, who have become notorious for doing so at the draft.

124th Overall - Cruz Lucius

Matt’s Grade: C+

Lucius had a lot of injury issues this year, which limited him to 23 games with the NTDP and six games at the U18s. The Hurricanes clearly liked Lucius’ playmaking ability, and Assistant GM Darren Yorke also raved about his shot and play around the net. Clearly, the Hurricanes like the player. Lucius has size, strength on the puck and enough offensive skills to warrant a pick in this spot. I’m giving the selection a C+ now since I don’t know a ton about the player, but I’m looking forward to watching him play for the University of Wisconsin in the fall.

156th Overall - Vladimir Grudinin

Matt’s Grade: A

Grudinin might end up being one of the steals of the draft. He was a first round talent on a lot of public lists because of his elite skating and puck skills, and yet somehow, the Hurricanes were once again able to select a falling player. Grudinin is awesome and I seriously hope that he can make it to the NHL. People will point to his size and lack of muscle as weak points, but he can easily get stronger within the next few years. Grudinin is going to be a very fun prospect to keep an eye on. He played at all three levels of Russian hockey this year and has high upside. Yes, there are concerns about the fact that he plays for CSKA, but once again, you swing for upside with your picks.

Grudinin will be a long term project but one that could pay off in a big way for the Hurricanes.

171st Overall - Jakub Vondras

Matt’s Grade: C

Vondras was the only goaltender selected by the Hurricanes in this draft, making it two straight drafts where the Hurricanes have selected a Czech goaltender. Vondras is an unknown for me. He’s a right-handed goalie, which you don’t see very many of, and he had some solid numbers at the U20 level this past season. Beyond that, I don’t know anything. What I do know is that it’s always good to take at least one goalie in every draft, and the Hurricanes did just that.

Hurricanes Trade Pick 188

Matt’s Grade: Sure, why not?

The Hurricanes traded this pick to Chicago in exchange for a sixth round pick in 2023, and while it’ll almost certainly be a higher selection, the difference in pick quality is marginal. Moving on.

205th Overall - Alexander Pelevin

Matt’s Grade: B

I profiled Pelevin a few weeks ago and wasn’t thrilled about the idea of the Hurricanes drafting him in the second round, which is where he was projected to go. That being said, I do like this pick in the seventh round. Pelevin has great physical and defensive tools and is a true shutdown defender. He can shut down any sort of offense and makes a lot of really smart plays in his own end. I don’t believe that there is any offense to his game whatsoever, and while he may be able to play in transition, I see him being a player that is at his best when he’s in his own end.

Final Grade and Thoughts

I’m giving the Hurricanes an A for today’s draft. Not all of the picks were home runs, but all of Carolina’s picks were fantastic value for where they were able to draft the player. Without a first round pick, it’s difficult to add a true top talent, but they were able to draft a forward with legitimate top six upside in Trikozov as well as one with middle six upside in Perevalov. The Lucius pick could look excellent once he plays in a full season, and I’m partial to the Grudinin selection. The Hurricanes didn’t draft a single center and I’m going to pretend that I didn’t say it was our biggest “need” heading into the draft. Sometimes, the best players available aren’t centers and you take the best player available.

One thing I will say is that this year’s draft class comes with a lot of uncertainty. Obviously, there’s a fair amount of risk with your four Russian players as there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to get them over to North America. Still, I trust in the Hurricanes’ scouts. They clearly felt comfortable with taking these players and that gives me some hope. One ray of hope is that both Trikozov and Grudinin are represented by Gold Star Hockey, which is Dan Milstein’s agency. He is one of the biggest agents when it comes to getting Russian players to North America, so that’s something to keep in mind. I hope you all have enjoyed the draft as much as I have. I can’t wait for development camp to roll around so we can see some of our new picks as well as some of the prospects drafted in 2020 and 2021 that we have yet to see in person. It’s a great time to be a Carolina Hurricanes fan.