Revisiting the Carolina Hurricanes 2011 Draft Class

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 19: Carolina Hurricanes Defenceman Ryan Murphy (7) skates with the puck during a National Hockey League game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Philadelphia Flyers on March 19, 2017 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA . The Flyers won in OT 4-3.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 19: Carolina Hurricanes Defenceman Ryan Murphy (7) skates with the puck during a National Hockey League game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Philadelphia Flyers on March 19, 2017 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA . The Flyers won in OT 4-3.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Round 6, Pick 163 – G Matt Mahalak

After trading their 5th round pick, the Hurricanes didn’t make a selection for 60 picks, where they chose goaltender Matt Mahalak 163rd overall. ISS Scouting ranked Mahalak the 3rd best goalie in the draft, and had a glowing outlook on him.

Mahalak was playing with the Plymouth Whalers in the OHL, and had prototypical NHL size at 6’3”, 180lbs. Despite looking like he’d taken a step after his draft year, Mahalak faltered when he was given the reigns as Plymouth’s starting goalie. His save% dropped from .923 to .906.

ST PAUL, MN – JUNE 25: 163rd overall pick Matt Mahalak by the Carolina Hurricanes poses for a portrait during day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
ST PAUL, MN – JUNE 25: 163rd overall pick Matt Mahalak by the Carolina Hurricanes poses for a portrait during day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Hurricanes, seemingly more impressed with Plymouth’s backup goalie as opposed to Mahalak, relinquished his rights in June of 2013, opting not to sign him. At the 2014 draft, they selected Alex Nedeljkovic, who backed up Mahalak in 2012-13, and his stellar play forced Plymouth to trade Mahalak that summer. The Hurricanes, rightfully, moved on.

Mahalak finished off his OHL career, and then signed on with PEI University instead of turning pro. He played there with varying levels of success with another former Canes prospect, defenseman Austin Levi, until the end of his senior season in 2018. After that, Mahalak seemingly disappeared from hockey without a trace, and is retired from hockey according to his eliteprospects page. An un-signed draft pick, Mahalak never played a game at any level in the Hurricanes organization.

Pick Grade: F