The Carolina Hurricanes and the rest of the NHL are preparing for the NHL entry draft at the end of June. Without a top draft choice, Don Waddell has several options to play with in Nashville.
Having 9 draft picks this year, Waddell has a ton of flexibility with the success of the NHL team and the luxury of adding depth to the prospect pool.
With the success that the Canes have had on the ice, the next wave of young players have come up to the big club and contributed to that success. This is always a great scenario but limits the ranking of their prospect system as a whole.
Even so, the Canes have players like Scott Morrow, Anttoni Honka, and of course Chris Drury and Pyotr Kochetkov.
Unlike many of the other Stanley Cup contenders, the Canes held onto a lot of their picks and prospects at the trade deadline. It was a risk that Waddell did not take that strengthened the draft stock.
Holding the 30th overall pick, the Canes are able to stay put and make the draft choice, trade the pick to move up in the draft or trade the pick for a player. Any of those choices would not be the wrong one in my opinion.
The team is ready to win now and if a trade for a sniper is available then why not pull the trigger having so many picks?
The system would not take a hit trading some of the picks as the 9 the Canes hold are plenty to add to the depth of the organization as the future is now.
Packaging some of the picks to move up in the first round for a player they target is a solid option. If you cannot get a sniper at the draft then use some picks to get the best player possible.
Obviously, they will not be able to get in the top 10 but to get into the top 20 means they could get a player that will be ready sooner than later.
Two draft choices in each of the 5th and 6th rounds mean they can be packaged and not miss a beat.
As disappointing as the trade deadline was last spring, the organization is in a strong spot to help the future and present. This will certainly set the tempo for the summer.