Carolina Hurricanes 2000 Entry Draft Preview

By Bill Moesta
On June 24 and 25, the NHL will gather in Calgary for the 2000 Entry Draft. Armed with three picks in the first sixty, Carolina General Manager Jim Rutherford and Sheldon Ferguson, Director of Amateur Scouting, will take a dip into the amateur pool to restock the Canes farm system.

The Hurricanes will be picking 14, 44 and 58, in the first two rounds. the first two picks are theirs, while the 58 pick is from Philadelphia, in the Primeau/Brind’Amour-Pelletier trade.

The Canes have hung onto their drafted players the last few years. They learned their lesson the hard way. In 1995, the then Hartford Whalers, traded future Hart and Norris Trophy winner Chris Pronger to the St. Louis Blues. The blossoming of Pronger after leaving the franchise, showed the team to give their young players a chance to develop. In the last two seasons, Carolina has traded just two drafted players. Both of them were defensemen and both were traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. In 1998, the Canes shipped NHL’er Adam Burt and in 1999, the sent QMJHL’er Francis Lessard.

The needs being addressed by Rutherford and Ferguson at this years draft are defensemen and goaltenders. The Hurricanes goaltender prospects need help. OHL’er Chris Madden was not signed at the deadline. With Arturs Irbe and Jean-Marc Pelletier already penciled in on the 2000-2001 Hurricanes roster, the farm system will have only one drafted prospect, Antti Jokela of Finland. Randy Petruk, acquired from the Colorado Avalanche, and free agent Mark Magliarditi will work the nets for the Cincinnati Cyclones and Florida Everblades, but they need some help. With Krahn and DiPietro expected to go early, the opportunity for the Hurricanes to pick Aaron Molnar, Brandon Boxma, or Craig Kowalski at the end of the second round or middle of the third, is very strong.

The other need to be addressed by Carolina is defensemen. Combine the losses of Chiasson, the trades of Burt and Lessard, the failure to sign Holdridge, the real possibility of losing Coffey and Hill in free agency, and the ability to lose Leschyshyn and Karpa in the Expansion Draft on June 23, the Hurricanes blue liners are more and more in need of recruits. Last season early picks went for David Tanabe and Brad Fast. Expect more of the same this year. The possibilities for the Hurricanes in the first round are Brooks Orpik, Ilya Nikulin, Anton Volchenkov, Ron Hainsey, or Libor Ustrnul.

The one possibility for the Canes to supplement their forwards, is if Justin Williams is still available in the second round.

Look for Carolina to stock the defense, pick up one goaltender, and hold onto their choices for a few years.