We get to the last pick of the Canes draft and that is yet again another Russian. This time, it is another defenseman. Another steal in the form of Alexander Pelevin who again dropped because of his nationality. If there was more certainty surrounding the Russian players, this draft could have gone a lot worse for the Hurricanes but yet again they find a fantastic player later in the draft.
Pelevin is a defenseman again on the smaller side at 5’11 but is very mobile. In fact, his biggest downfall might be his eagerness. He’s not someone who is content to just remove one opponent from the play and will try to throw himself into any potentially dangerous situation in order to minimize the threat. While that can be channeled, he’s got a lot to like.
Pelevin was someone who ranked highly again in most draft rankings as someone that should have gone in the rounds between 2-4. He fell to the seventh and Carolina snapped him up. He’s someone that prioritizes the defensive side of the game first and that is going to make him a valued commodity. It is not easy to find someone that is willing to play a defense-heavy game on the blueline.
If he can translate that style of play over to the North American ice surfaces, then we could see Pelevin be someone that plays in the NHL. Given the way he plays, I’d suggest mainly in a third-pairing role, but for a seventh-round pick to be playing in the NHL is just house money. Russians right now are an unknown entity in themselves so there is no risk here for a potentially huge reward.
It’s unlikely all of these players will turn out to be NHLers, but right now, they look like a strong class. We will see what comes of these players. We’re a few ways off from being able to see what they become and there isn’t a true number 1 prospect addition out of this class, but it is solid and a lot of good picks were made here. We will see what comes of them later.