Carolina Hurricanes Have Draft Assets For Flexibility on Draft Weekend

2019 NHL Draft - Round 2-7
2019 NHL Draft - Round 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The NHL draft is approaching quickly as we are just over a week away from the big weekend in Las Vegas. The Carolina Hurricanes will be active that weekend on many counts with the new general manager, Eric Tulsky, holding many picks and a lot to accomplish the summer in sculpting this team for another run at the Stanley Cup.

One common theme around the Canes is that a team this strong in the past few seasons has many high-level prospects in the system and plenty of draft choices available. The leader of the talent in the system is KHL defenseman, Alexander Nikishin.

Due to younger players on the NHL roster being rewarded with new contracts, the prospects in the system will have a better chance of cracking the big club. The defensive group is set for at least two openings and Nikishin could eye a trip to the United States.

Of the seven rounds in the NHL entry draft, the Canes have not only their own seven choices but two additional picks in the sixth round from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators. Additionally, Carolina holds their first and second-round selections for the next two years. This will allow Tulsky a chance to play around with his draft assets.

An already strong system and number of picks give the Canes the luxury of potentially using the picks to trade for an asset or package with a larger contract to ship off to another team, creating salary cap space.

As tempting as it may be to trade draft capital for impact players, the team's restricted free agents will cost more to retain, which will leave far less money than desired to attempt to bring back the unrestricted free agents like Brady Skjei, Brett Pesce, Teuvo Teravainen, and Jake Guentzel. Seth Jarvis and Martin Necas, in particular, will be getting big raises.

These draft choices are better off being used to package with a player like Jesperi Kotkaniemi or even Frederik Andersen to shed their salaries and continue to compete in the present without disrupting too much of the future.

The draft weekend will be one for all Caniacs to keep their eyes on as the team will certainly be active one way or the other.