NHL Draft First Round: Carolina's Draft Options With the Pick Tonight

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

The fun begins tonight as the first round of the NHL draft will be held tonight at the Sphere in Las Vegas. The Carolina Hurricanes have the 27th overall draft choice this evening. The draft's first day is always the unofficial opening to the off-season with a big trade or two going down. This year the Canes may be involved in some news.

The rumors are swirling around a trade of restricted free agent forward, Martin Necas. Necas appears unhappy with his role in Carolina and would like a change of scenery. The Canes are up against the salary cap with all the unrestricted free agents and an important restricted free agent in Seth Jarvis. The cap space saved on a Necas trade would increase cap flexibility.

Speaking of the cap flexibility, the smoke is around the Canes and Jake Guentzel reuniting on a big contract. One would think this would have to become a fact with the departure of Necas.

Under the circumstance that Eric Tulsky keeps and makes his first draft choice as general manager of the Hurricanes, let's look at some viable options that could remain available that late in the first round.

The familiar saying "draft the best skill available and not the position needed" will be even truer with the 27th overall choice. The Canes are a win-now team and the preparation for the future is best available and not focusing on a position of need right now. Goaltender would be the only position not needed at this choice because it is not a strong draft for that position.

This draft is extremely heavy in talent at the forward position early. Beyond the first and parts of the 2nd and 3rd rounds, the defensemen start to pick up momentum with many needing a lot of development with excellent size.

The reach and steal if things played out in favor of the Canes would be St. Andrew's center, Dean Letourneau. A man-child, Letourneau is 6'7 209 pounds with a right-handed shot. The Braeside, Ontario native needs experience and development to learn how to use his body but is a phenomenal skater. His skating ability is similar to a smaller player and can maneuver like no other player of his stature in the draft.

A player more likely to be available at 27 is Medicine Hat's winger, Andrew Basha. A left-handed winger who has great vision and enough speed to threaten the defense to not cheat up. He has quick hands to move the puck and has a sneaky quick release on his shot. The Hockey News writers compare his game to Seth Jarvis but I see a lot of Artemi Panarin as well. Decent size at 6 feet, 185 pounds.

A solid player who is only held back by his 5'11, 183 pounds on draft boards is Jett Luchanko. Luchanko plays for Guelph in the OHL and is a hard-working centerman. The London, Ontario native is a superb playmaker and can create on-the-man advantage. The standout attribute for him is that he is a very hard worker and competes like crazy. Rod Brind'Amour must have an eye out for this kid.

My final option for the 27th overall pick would be Brantford's left winger, Marek Vanacker. Vanacker is 6'1, 170 pounds, and may be bigger from some scouting reports. The Delhi, Ontario native has pure pro talent but can be inconsistent at times. His effort is always there but his play away from the puck needs a lot of work. Another forward who can move the puck quickly and has sneaky speed.

Enjoy the festivities this evening Caniacs!