The Carolina Hurricanes were lucky enough to get the second-overall pick in the upcoming 2018 NHL Draft, but who they will take will be even more interesting. While many believe that winger Andrei Svechnikov, who scored 40 goals for the OHL’s Barrie Colts mostly as a 17-year-old, is the obvious answer. However, there are plenty of other variables, according to the Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy.
An alternate option for Carolina would be to take winger Filip Zadina, countryman and world junior linemate of 2017 first-round center Martin Necas. Zadina put up 44 goals in 57 games in the QMJHL with the Halifax Mooseheads.
However, the scribe writes that neither player fills the team’s most important need for the future which is a first-line center, a similar problem that the Montreal Canadiens face later at the No. 3 spot. If Carolina decides that is more important, then trading down might be the team’s best option. Kennedy adds that has been discussed by the organization. A team like the New York Rangers or the New York Islanders, both with an excess of extra picks both in the first round and later, would be logical trade partners.
Although the team recently hired veteran executive Rick Dudley to fill in, the team needs to hire a general manager before any decision can be made about the direction of their selection. While the team bowed out earlier from the playoff race than they had hoped, Carolina has a significant amount of talent, although they lack a star player. However, with a new owner and eventually new general manager and coach, the team may make quite a few changes over the next few months. Even without a permanent GM, the team already traded off veteran Marcus Kruger and there are rumors the Hurricanes may trade off their top scorer in Jeff Skinner before he hits free agency in 2019.
So Carolina becomes quite a wildcard when it comes to this draft.