The Carolina Hurricanes have the 13th-overall pick in this year’s draft and will have an opportunity to continue adding to their young team. Over the next week, I’ll be looking at eight players (two players per article) who the Hurricanes could select with their first-round pick.
The players chosen will be based on who I’ve seen ranked at or near 13th overall by different projections. Each article will have a theme: I’ll do two articles of likely picks, one article of players the Hurricanes shouldn't go after and today’s article, which will look at two players who would be a steal at 13th overall.
I’m also going off the assumption that the following 10 players will be off the board by the time it’s Carolina’s turn to pick: Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield, Tim Stutzle, Cole Perfetti, Marco Rossi, Jamie Drysdale, Alexander Holtz, Lucas Raymond, Jake Sanderson and Jack Quinn. If any of them are available, the Hurricanes should have any easy pick, however, it’s unlikely.
So here are the first two players:
The Hurricanes clearly need a long-term fix in net and Askarov could be that solution. There’s a good chance that he’s gone by 13th overall, however, with Winnipeg, Nashville and Florida picking at 10th, 11th and 12th, and all with a good young goalie either on their team or in the system, you never know.
Askarov is one of the best goaltending prospects of the last decade and has a .974 save percentage in his first three KHL games of the season. He’s excelled at every level he’s played at and a poor performance at the World Juniors last year shouldn’t scare the Hurricanes away.
Goalies may be unpredictable but Askarov is as sure a bet as any to become a quality NHL starter. He fills a need and if he’s available, the Hurricanes should take him.
Like Askarov, Lundell probably won’t be around at this point but if he is, he’d be a steal for Carolina. He’s a natural center and while the Hurricanes are fine down the middle right now, Vincent Trocheck and Jordan Staal only have two and three years respectively remaining on their contracts.
Lundell had 10 goals and 28 points in 44 Liiga games last year and while he does have a late birthday, he also had nine goals and 19 points in 38 games the year before. He may not have a ton of traits that jump out at you and isn’t necessarily as exciting to watch as other projected first-round picks, but he’s an effective and reliable forward, who is a safe bet to be able to play center in the NHL.
If Lundell is somehow available at 13th overall, he’d no doubt be the top forward remaining on the board.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
If they were somehow both still available, who would you rather the Hurricanes pick?