Carolina Hurricanes Could Move Jake Guentzel's Rights For Draft Capital

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders - Game Three
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders - Game Three / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Stanley Cup Finals begin tomorrow and the rest of the hockey world anxiously waits to begin the summer. The Carolina Hurricanes are run by the interim general manager, Eric Tulsky, and have an abundance of free agent players. The talk recently has been RFA Martin Necas, but things appear to be heating up with UFA Jake Guentzel.

Guentzel was acquired from Pittsburgh at the NHL trade deadline and was the prized target for all teams at the deadline. Then GM, Don Waddell, knew the risk of obtaining a pending free agent but the team was going all in for the Stanley Cup.

Unfortunately, that dream did not come true after losing in 6 games to the New York Rangers. The attention turned to keeping Guentzel in Raleigh but it appears that at the very least Guentzel would like to test the open market. After a long career with Pittsburgh, the 29-year-old has earned the right to be "wooed".

If Guentzel is not going to re-sign before free agency opens, then the Canes need to do their due diligence and shop his rights. It appears that is exactly what Tulsky is doing right now. Expert, Elliotte Friedman has reported that the Canes are shopping Guentzel's rights for a mid-round draft choice. That would be a solid asset to acquire for the rights of a player that seems destined for free agency.

Carolina currently has 9 draft choices in the upcoming NHL entry draft. To put it in perspective, the NHL draft is 7 rounds. Quite a rarity for a contender to not only have their first-round draft pick or even their entire draft but to have two additional picks is a job well done. In the 2025 NHL draft, the Canes are missing 3rd & 5th-round draft choices. I guess that the mid-round draft choice they are seeking for Guentzel's rights may be for 2025.

However, having 3 picks in the 6th round could entice a higher pick in this year's draft. Packaging the Guentzel rights along with one or two of the 6th-round picks could get a 3rd or 4th-round pick in this year's draft.

This would allow the Hurricanes some more flexibility in trading draft choices for top-level players this draft weekend. It could also help add to a mediocre farm system. Either way, it is the right choice to get Guentzel's rights out for an asset while still keeping the phone line open come July 1st.