The first round of the NHL draft was completed last night in Nashville. As many experts expected the players did not go in order of many draft rankings. With such mixed reviews on players, this was bound to happen.
The good news for teams with a lot of picks today is that some first-round talent is going to be available for the taking.
The Carolina Hurricanes took Bradly Nadeau with the 30th overall pick last night. The winger is listed at 5’10 and 161 pounds with loads of scoring prowess.
Today the second round will begin at 11 AM and finish with the seventh round.
The Canes have the 30th pick of today and the 62nd pick overall. Moving forward Carolina has the 71st overall pick in the third round, followed 126th overall pick in the fourth round.
In the fifth round, the Canes have two picks starting with the 139th overall and later the 158th overall pick.
In the sixth round, Don Waddell has himself two picks once again. The 163rd overall pick and the 190th pick will precede the Canes final pick in the seventh round which is the 222nd overall pick.
With the the amount of picks in the fifth round and on, the Canes may have a chance to move up earlier using one of the two picks they have in the fifth and sixth rounds.
A few names that were ranked high but were not taken in the first round are Andrew Cristall, who is an elite shot with phenomenal play making ability. The vision on the ice is off the charts but at 5’9 his size is a concern. No doubt he will be taken early today.
Another player surprisingly available is Riley Heidt. Heidt is another elite play maker that can become a great set up guy in the NHL. His compete level is a strong point and is committed to improving his game. The only knock on Heidt is that his skating is a concern.
Another gritty player available is Gavin Brindley. A very small player, the Michigan Wolverine is a sleeper for the draft because of his versatility and feisty play.
Here are a few players that would be beneficial to have in Carolina at the end of the day:
The 5’11, 175 pound winger is a huge competitor on the ice and has the NHL pedigree from his father, Denis Gauthier. What many hockey people would say is a “glue” guy, Gauthier is not shy with the physical play and has a nose for the net.
Morin is an all out offensive defenseman. With decent size, he can hold his own in his zone but needs some work on his skating ability. A true power play quarterback, Morin moves the puck very well but needs improvement on decision making, which will come with experience.
Halttunen is a strong leader as he captains the Finnish international teams. Additionally, he has a one of the best shots in the draft. He is a big player at 6’3, 207 pounds but has yet to figure out how to use that size. With time and development he will be a force.
Lind has decent size and is considered an “old school” hockey player. Lind is a feisty player that is nasty to play against. He likes to talk on the ice and can take other players off their games. A true fighter, you should never bet against Lind.
Nelson is a US National Development Team product that is the most versatile player in this draft. At 6’3, 202 pounds Nelson has the size to and skill to play in every area of the ice. Up until recently, the center played mostly defense and could be adjuster by any organization that drafts him.