Rounds Six and Seven
Kevin Wall is kind of an unknown to me. He played in the USHL, which is a league I don’t watch at all. Undrafted in 2018, he exploded with 31 goals and 64 points in 49 games with Chilliwack, and the Hurricanes gambled on him in the 6th round. He’s since moved to Penn State, which is a top-notch hockey program, although he hasn’t played much yet.
Wall, at Penn State, is in as good a spot as any if he’s to reach his full potential. He’s got a great shot and solid skating ability, so he’s got some tools to work with. I don’t see him ever being an impact player, but maybe a guy who can fit into the Canes bottom-six one day down the road.
NHL ETA: 4+ years
Murray is another guy who was divisive among scouts, mostly for his consistency. However, it seems like that’s become a thing of the past for Murray. After a 30-goal season last year with Sudbury in the OHL that got him drafted by Carolina, he’s picked up right where he left off. In his first 20 games, he’s got 23 points (9 goals, 14 assists) alongside top prospect Quinton Byfield.
Sudbury is an amazing team, and they look like they could compete for the league title. Murray will surely be a huge part of that, and gain vital experience along the way. He’s 6’2, 190lbs and, one of the youngest players in the draft, has a ton of time to develop. Could end up being a steal considering how late he was drafted. He was initially projected as a 1st-round pick in Fall of 2018.
NHL ETA: 3-5 years
Last but not least, I present you Massimo Rizzo. Aside from having a great name, Rizzo has equally inspiring skills. He’s got some offensive flair, and plays a heart-on-sleeve type game. Hard worker, leadership qualities. He’s got 15 points so far in 15 games with Coquitlam of the BCHL, which isn’t top tier competition.
Rizzo is a long ways away as a player. He’s committed to the University of North Dakota, where he’ll likely head next year to continue his development at the next level. I see his as a bottom-six center if he ever makes it to the NHL, but the risk vs reward is very likeable for a seventh round draft pick.