Carolina Hurricanes What Could Have Been: Elite Players Selected Directly After a Canes Pick

DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 16: Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks fires a shot on goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the first period at the Pepsi Center on January 16, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 16: Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks fires a shot on goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the first period at the Pepsi Center on January 16, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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William Nylander and Charlie McAvoy

The Carolina Hurricanes draft regrets keep going

Now for the final slot, I decided to group together two different draft selections. In 2014 the Hurricanes were in desperate need of defense, as Slavin and Pesce had yet to establish themselves as NHLers and opted to take Haydn Fleury with the 7th overall pick. Directly after, William Nylander was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In 2016 Carolina had to first-rounders and opted to use their first, and highest, on another defenseman. With a few solid names on the board, Canes brass selected, from the Calgary Hitman, Jake Bean13th overall. At 14, Boston selected Boston University commitment, Charlie McAvoy.

I chose to group these two together as Fleury has slowly developed into a serviceable guy on the Hurricanes’ defense and, being named the top defenseman in the entire AHL, the jury is still out on the future of Bean.

In Nylander’s case, the Canes would have gotten a young top-six forward who is capable of putting up an average of 60 points a season. One-forth of the Leafs’ four-headed mother upfront, he has been another guy to have his name thrown into the rumor mill.

Interestingly enough, there was a time where insiders thought a deal around Nylander for one of Hanifin or Pesce would be fair for both sides. Had any of those rumors turned into reality, Nylander would have actually been a Hurricane after all.

McAvoy has been a fixture next to Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara even since he entered the league. Averaging over 22 minutes a night every season, it is safe to say he is one of the better up and coming defensemen in the entire NHL.

Had the Hurricanes opted to draft him over Bean we would probably see him paired with Slavin on the top pair, making the trade for Dougie Hamilton unlikely to have ever happened.