[2015 NHL Draft] First Round, Fifth Overall: Carolina Hurricanes help an area of need by drafting Noah Hanifin

By Ken McKenna
Noah Hanifin - Carolina Hurricanes

Photo: Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin was the first selection for the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2015 NHL Draft (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Image)



One of the smoothest skaters and headiest players in the 2015 NHL Draft is Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin. The Carolina Hurricanes obviously took a liking to the player thought by many to be the best defenseman in this draft, making Hanifin the fifth overall selection of the draft.

Hanifin, who completed his freshman season in 2014-15, is a complete defender with few holes in his game, and has the size and skating ability that makes NHL talent mavens drool. The voters in the Hockey East conference took notice of Hanifin’s strong season, naming him to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team, as well as a conference Second Team All-Star.

“As far as my abilities go, I’m very confident in myself,” said Hanifin at the draft. Describing his game he said, “I’m a two-way guy who can contribute offensively, who can play a lot of minutes, who can play against top lines of other teams, and will work as hard as possible to help us win a Stanley Cup.”

Hanifin tended to focus more on his own end than on pushing the play in the freshman season, but he still produced some highlights worthy of a second look.