A Review of the Carolina Hurricanes First Round Draft Picks Part I: 1997-2007

Taking a look at every Carolina Hurricanes first round draft picks
2019 NHL Draft - Round One
2019 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Capitals v Hurricanes
Capitals v Hurricanes / Dave Sandford/GettyImages

2001: Igor Knyazev (D) 15th Overall 0GP 0G 0A 0 PIM

Continuing the trend of lackluster first round drafting, the Hurricanes selected Russian Igor Knyazev 15th overall.  Knyazev is a peculiar pick as he didn’t have great numbers playing over in Russia before his draft year. There was a trend in the late 1990s to early 2000s in picking Russian players early, with a vast number never panning out.  He played 2 mediocre AHL seasons before spending the rest of his career playing mostly in the Russian minor leagues.  He is one of two Hurricanes first-round picks to never play in an NHL game (The other being Phillippe Paradis).  The good news, there weren't any impact players in the first round after this pick.  Most notable are 20-goal scorer RJ Umberger (16th Overall), pest Colby Armstrong (21st Overall) and future ‘Cane Tim Gleason (23rd Overall).