Though the Carolina Hurricanes finished the season out of the playoffs once again, it’s clear that the team is on the rise. With a deep young defense corps, and an improving forward group, they could easily vault themselves into the postseason as soon as 2017-18. Now, because so many of their key players are young and ineligible for the expansion draft they plan on using the threat of Vegas to target some help up front. Luke DeCock of The News & Observer spoke to GM Ron Francis, who made it clear that he’s on the phones working to try and improve his club.
We’ve got the open for business sign out there. We’re in a unique situation with the amount of picks we have and the amount of prospects we have. It’ll be interesting. Really what it comes down to is what teams want: Do they want a player back for the asset they don’t have to protect or are they willing to take some picks and prospects?
When Francis refers to the number of picks he has, he’s speaking about the 10 picks the Hurricanes have in this summer’s entry draft, including six of the first 73 selections. Those picks, combined with prospects like Haydn Fleury, Julien Gauthier, Jake Bean, Warren Foegele, and the room the Hurricanes have to protect additional players in the expansion draft make them a perfect trade partner for teams afraid to lose someone for nothing.
The Hurricanes could easily dangle a prospect or ineligible player like Noah Hanifin in front of teams like the Rangers or Lightning who may be facing expansion draft issues up front. Carolina clearly wants to upgrade their forward group, looking for both a top-line center and power winger to add for next season. They also could do nothing, and keep all of their assets for the draft floor and use them to move around and select the players they want. But with so much young talent already coming through, they could afford to move some of their prospect and draft pick capital to go after a big name or two in trade.