Hurricanes 2010 draft preview

By Cory Lavalette
Top 10 prospects

1. Zach Boychuk, C/W

2. Jamie McBain, D

3. Drayson Bowman, LW

4. Zac Dalpe, C

5. Brett Carson, D

6. Brian Dumoulin, D

7. Mike Murphy, G

8. Chris Terry, LW

9. Michal Jordan, D

10. Mattias Lindstrom, LW

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Heading into the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, no team holds more picks than the Carolina Hurricanes, who have 11 selections — including six of the first 85 picks. The Hurricanes should land an excellent prospect with the seventh overall pick, plus they acquired two extra second-round picks prior to the NHL trade deadline, giving them a total of four of the first 53 spots in the draft.

GM Jim Rutherford has several options. He could hold on to the picks and restock Carolina’s prospect cupboards, use the extra picks to move up in Round 1 or gain a second first-round selection, or perhaps even use the extra assets to acquire players.

Team Needs

For the first time in a long time, Carolina is poised to transition several of their prospects into NHL contributors. Zach Boychuk, Jamie McBain, Brett Carson and Justin Peters should all see significant playing time with the Hurricanes, while several others like Drayson Bowman could earn roles in Raleigh.

But with that transition comes a depletion of their prospect depth. The Canes will likely take the best available player at No. 7, then use their three second-round picks and seven other picks to address needs throughout the organization. Carolina has several middle-of-the-road prospects, but lacks significant top-end talent.

With Peters set to back up Cam Ward in Carolina, Mike Murphy and Justin Pogge will play with the team’s new AHL affiliate in Charlotte, but they are the only two goalies in the system. Expect the Canes to address that need in Los Angeles.

Organizational Strengths

The Hurricanes are best stocked at forward, but several of those players are ready or near ready to join the NHL ranks. The same is true for McBain and Carson, the team’s top two defensive prospects. Boston College’s Brian Dumoulin, a rising sophomore, was a second-round pick last year and looks like he could be a home run, but should take at least two more seasons before he turns pro.

Organizational Weaknesses

The team’s biggest need is depth. There are acclaimed prospects ready to make the jump to the NHL, but their graduation means there are holes that need filling. Several of the high-end prospects will likely become full-time NHLers next year, so the team is in need of some sure-fire talent they can count on down the road. Finally, the team has two goalies set for Charlotte, but no others in the system.

Draft Tendencies

Rutherford has stated several times that he prefers to not use first-round picks on defensemen because their development time is much longer than other prospects. Still, if one of the “Big Three” (Cam Fowler, Eric Gudbranson and Brandon Gormley) fell to the Canes at No. 7, you’d have to think they’d consider making an exception like they did with Jack Johnson at No. 3 in 2005.

While the Canes used their first-round pick last year on Philippe Paradis, the team rarely chooses players from the QMJHL. The team has not used a first-round pick — outside of Paradis, who was traded to Toronto less than six months after he was selected —  or a second-round pick on a QMJHL player since moving to Raleigh, and just twice used a third on a Quebec league player.

The team has also shied away from Russians, selecting just one (Igor Knyazev, 15th overall in 2001) since the team relocated. The Canes used three of their six picks on Scandanavian players last year, choosing two from Finland and one from Sweden, but for the most part the team has selected WHL and OHL players, along with the occasional American-born player.

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