Who else could the Carolina Hurricanes have gone for?
Among the honorable mentions, Carey Price is the biggest name. Just missing out on the regular list since he was drafted two picks after the Hurricanes selected Jack Johnson 3rd overall in 2005, he would have gone a long way in solving Carolina’s goaltending woes in recent years.
While Price’s play has declined a bit after signing a monster contract extension, a lot of which has to do with the team in front of him, he is still one of the league’s best netminders. Johnson, on the other hand, refused to sign with the Canes and was traded to L.A. in 2006.
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The long time Rangers’ captain, McDonagh is a solid top-four shutdown guy for the Tampa Bay Lightning. With Brandon Sutter being a solid third-line center for the Hurricanes, before getting traded for Jordan Staal, he really wasn’t a bust, hence why McDonagh wasn’t on the main list.
Lastly, in 2013 the Canes selected a young Swedish center named Elias Lindholm with the 5th overall pick. Honestly rushed onto the roster before he was NHL ready, Lindy had a solid five-year career with the Canes before being traded to Calgary, joining the player selected directly after him, Sean Monahan.
Monahan made the honorable mention list just because there isn’t that much of a difference between the two players. They both have had similar offensive numbers, played in almost the same amount of games, are both solid face-off guys, etc. The only edge Monahan has on Lindholm is the name recognition around the league.
There are certainly several more players we could have looked at but these are some more notable ones. Just imagine a Carolina Hurricanes roster featuring some of the names on the list and you’d have to think that their decade long playoff drought would have been avoided.
A roster with Price and Hellebuyck in net, McAvoy, Karlsson, and McDonagh on the backend, Gaudreau, Nylander, and Wheeler up front, added to what exists now is hard not to like. The salary cap would have forced a trade or two, and some guys like Svech more than likely wouldn’t be in the organization, but there’s no reason to believe a roster like this couldn’t have won another cup or two.
Question for CC Readers: Which of these players do you think would have had the biggest impact in a Carolina Hurricanes jersey?