5. Lots of Picks but no Top Picks
Remember problem 1. about the lack of top talent and how the easiest way to get it is with a top three pick? The closest the Canes have come to a top pick is two fifth overall picks in 2013 and 2015 entry drafts. The players taken with those picks, Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin, could turn into great players, but neither one of them look like they are going to set the hockey world on fire anytime soon. It’s a big problem for the Hurricanes as no team to win the Stanley Cup in the Salary Cap era has done so without a top three pick at some point.
Right now the Hurricanes are nowhere near a top three draft pick. In fact, they are probably in the worst position in terms of their first round draft picks; not bad enough for the top three, but not good enough to make the playoffs. So far Carolina has compensated for this somewhat with their excellent second round picks of players with first round talent. Sebastian Aho, Justin Faulk, and Victor Rask were all second rounders along with Brett Pesce being a third and Jaccob Slavin a fourth.
Without those top picks, it just makes it even more difficult for Ron Francis to bring in the cheap elite talent that turns teams into Stanley Cup contenders. Hopefully, players like Aho, Bean, and Gauthier are able to play at high levels relatively soon which would help offset the lack of top picks but so far history isn’t on the side of the Hurricanes of that happening