2014 NHL Draft Preview: The Carolina Hurricanes Should Target Leon Draisaitl and Nick Ritchie


For the 5th straight season, the Carolina Hurricanes are looking forward to the NHL Entry Draft, not the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It is disappointing knowing that the Carolina Hurricanes won’t be going after a Stanley Cup this summer, but they will going after one of the top prospects in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. There are a couple of players that the Carolina Hurricanes should go after in June.

The first player is Leon Draisaitl. He is a big play-making forward from Germany currently playing in the WHL for the Prince Albert Raiders. Leon Draisaitl could really help the Carolina Hurricanes power play and 5-on-5 offense. He also has a great build at 6’2″, 210 lbs at the age of 18.

Leon Draisaitl can play center and the wing, so it’s hard not to imagine him playing with Jeff Skinner in the future and forming a lethal line. He is a big play-maker, and that is exactly what Jeff Skinner needs.

The German forward is currently ranked 7th Future Considerations’ top prospect list. In January, Central Scouting ranked Leon Draisaitl as number 2 among North American Skaters.

Nick Ritchie of the Peterborough Petes in the OHL is another player that the Carolina Hurricanes should consider in the June. He is a huge power forward who can score with the best of ‘em. At 6’2, 230 lbs, Nick Ritchie is the biggest player in the top end of the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

Future Considerations ranks Ritchie 5th among the top prospects in the upcoming draft. Central Scouting ranked Nick Ritchie at 7th among North American skaters.

Nick Ritchie is more of a scoring forward. He has a very dangerous shot, and he uses his huge frame to get to the dirty areas to get goals. That is something the Carolina Hurricanes could really benefit from.

The Carolina Hurricanes need to pick the right player in this June’s NHL Entry Draft. Leon Draisaitl and Nick Ritchie would be two terrific choices at the top end of the draft.

Tags: 2014 NHL Draft Carolina Hurricanes Jeff Skinner Leon Draisaitl Nick Ritchie

  • Jamie Gordon

    No to Draisaitl. I’ve watched Prince Albert this year. He plays the softest game I’ve ever seen out of a big man…it makes Eric Staal look like Keith Tkachuk in comparison. Further, the Canes don’t need a playmaker for Skinner…that’s exactly what they drafted Lindholm for…if you put another playmaker with a merely average shot out with Skinner and Elias…opponents are just going to shadow Skinner since they all know that is where the shot is eventually coming from. That line needs a physical sniper like Dal Colle, Ritchie or Virtanen so that Lindholm has options on where to go for the shot and so someone can crash the net for rebounds and second-chance goals. Draisaitl isn’t that guy…he’s another C/LW on a team with C/LW depth and a 1C who will probably be moving to LW by the end of his current contract in 2016.

    I hope they take Ritchie…but looking in a different direction, they should give Haydn Fleury a look too. The Canes cabinet is sparse of top-end defenseman prospects, particularly those who play a defensive game. Fleury may not be the sexy pick, but he’s already a solid defender, is as can’t-miss as any defender outside the top-5 in the last decade and brings size and grit that is currently lacking on the Canes blueline. The one part of his game where he needs work is his offense…and the Canes have an offensively-solid blueline around him. The thought of a Fleury-Murphy 2nd-pair for the next decade should give fans pause, especially if the Canes resign Andrei Sekera to play top-pair minutes with Justin Faulk…what was a long-term organizational weakness becomes one of the better defenseman groups in the NHL in fairly short order.