Nikolaj Ehlers [photo: David Chan]

NHL Draft Preview: Predicting the Carolina Hurricanes First Round Pick

We are just one day away from the NHL Draft. There’s plenty of speculation as to who the Carolina Hurricanes will select with the seventh pick in the first round.

In preparation for the big day, Cardiac Cane staff members made their draft pick. Let’s see who we picked with the seventh pick in the NHL Draft for the Carolina Hurricanes.

 

Brett Finger’s Pick: Nikolaj Ehlers – Left Wing, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

I had the Carolina Hurricanes selecting Nikolaj Ehlers in my full Canes mock draft the other day, and I’m staying true to that selection. The QMJHL rookie of the year tallied 104 points (49 goals, 55 assists) in just 63 games played. That is 1.65 points per game. Nikolaj Ehlers’ speed and dynamic offensive talents make him hard to pass up with the seventh pick in the draft. He’s the best skater in the draft, and his hands are comparable to a player like Patrick Kane. He may be small, but the 18-year-old Danish forward has plenty of time to bulk up and turn into the star that I think he will be. The Carolina Hurricanes do need to get bigger, but they can’t pass up on an opportunity to draft a potential superstar with the seventh pick on Friday.

 

Peter Dewar’s Pick: Haydn Fleury – Defenseman, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

I think the Carolina Hurricanes should add Haydn Fleury with the 7th pick in the draft, provided he is still available. Fleury stands to add energy to whatever team he goes to, and the Carolina Hurricanes could use a bit of a jolt in their game. He’s a big Defenseman who really has the whole package: size, speed, and skill. He is fundamentally sound and very reliable, and has the capacity for offensive production, not unlike our own Andrej Sekera. For a team that needs a solid addition to the blue line, if not to start in the NHL, then to push those who do to be better, Haydn Fleury would be a fantastic pick up for Ron Francis‘ first NHL Draft.

 

Zach Abdou’s Pick: Nikolaj Ehlers – Left Wing, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

With the 7th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, the Carolina Hurricanes should select left wing, Nikolaj Ehlers, of the Halifax Mooseheads.  In 63 games, Ehlers had 49 goals and 104 points to finish fourth in scoring in the QMJHL; the Denmark native also won the Rookie of the Year award.  Although he doesn’t have the ideal size or strength at the moment, Ehlers possesses the best speed in the draft along with a great shot and outstanding playmaking skills.  His dynamic style of play and offensive talents make him arguably the best winger in this year’s draft class.  Simply put, Nikolaj Ehlers is a potential superstar in the making.

 

Justin Dixon’s Pick: Michael Dal Colle – Left Wing, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

I’d take Michael Dal Colle if he falls to the Carolina Hurricanes.  He is a combination of scoring and size who can provide depth on the wing, a position sorely needed by the Canes.  After totaling so many points this past season, I would assume he is only a year or two out of the NHL and could be ready if we truly needed him.  Our prospect pool would instantly be improved.  Now, Dal Colle might not fall to us at 7.  Presuming he is not there and we don’t trade up or down, I would consider Nikolaj Ehlers or Haydn Fleury.  Both of these prospects project to fall between picks 5-12 and if the timing is right, we could snag one of these guys.  It all just depends who fits Ron Francis’ gameplan; Ehlers for speed and scoring on the wing and Fleury for shut-down D.  Both are a couple years out of the NHL and would improve out prospect pool.  So, my first choice would be Dal Colle with Ehlers and Fleury not far behind.  It all depends on our new GM.

 

Mark Bellesheim’s Pick: Nick Ritchie – Left Wing, Peterborough Petes (OHL)

Ritchie is a 6’ 3” and 226 pound power forward. Scoring 39 goals and totaling 74 points to lead  the Peterborough Petes, he shows he is not just size, but also skill. He has a good shot and brings a physical game. Inconsistency is the only problem with his game. Nick Ritchie would bring a game that keeps the other team on their heels because he is not afraid to drive the net. I believe he would be a good pick up for the Carolina Hurricanes in this years draft because of his power style of play.

 

 

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