Carolina Hurricanes Draft Review, Development Camp

Kevin LeBlanc


Draft Review


After a couple seasons of stockpiling picks and rebuilding their entire prospect pool, Carolina stood pat and selected six players in the 2018 draft. Aided by their luck at the draft lottery, which saw the teams draft position shoot up to second overall, the Hurricanes were in a great place to select a dynamic offensive talent. Overall, the team selected four forwards, one defenseman and one goaltender, adding a few high upside options to their already solid prospect group.


Round 1 (2nd Overall) – Andrei Svechnikov, RW


After securing the second overall pick in the draft, Carolina had the enviable position of Andrei Svechnikov falling into their laps. It was well known that the Russian winger would be the pick, as he had met with management during the process in Raleigh, and had gone far enough to record marketing material with the team prior to the draft.


Svechnikov was the best forward available in the draft, and the prototype for what you would want in goal-scoring winger. He can skate and shoot at an elite level and has the willingness to a play hard-nosed game along the boards and in front of the net. Svechnikov will get plenty of opportunity to play in the NHL early in his career, likely with favorable deployment, as the Canes look to take advantage of his offensive skillset He should fit in nicely for the next handful of years playing alongside Sebastian Aho or Martin Necas in the team’s top six forward group.


Round 2 (42nd Overall) – Jack Drury, C


After hitting the jackpot in talent with their first-round selection, Carolina looked to a safe selection in the second round with NHL legacy Jack Drury. The young pivot is a high character, consistent performer who will continue to develop over the next few seasons at Harvard with an eye on a middle-six future in the NHL. Drury can be a leader from a culture standpoint, and will be able to play in any situation that he is deployed in. He will be a player that head coach Rod Brind’Amour will love, but from a fantasy perspective may have a higher floor then he does a ceiling.


Round 4 (96th Overall) – Luke Henman, C


Simply put, fourth-round selection Luke Henman is a project with good raw skill. At 6’0” and just 150 pounds, the QMJHL center will need to pack on weight over his next few years of development. However, the reward may be worth the risk at this point in the draft as Henman does have good offensive instincts as a playmaker down the middle. He’s not overly physical, but that should improve with added weight, as will his ability to get to the front of the net. Henman’s production numbers in 2018-19 should improve dramatically as he looks to be a point-per-game player in his post draft season. He is one to keep an eye on for the future.


Round 4 (104th Overall) – Lenni Killinen, RW


Continuing the trend of Carolina drafting Finnish players over the last few seasons, the Canes took a chance on Killinen with their second, fourth-round selection. The winger was a point-per-game player in Finland’s U20 league, and did crack the Espoo lineup for ten games in Finland’s second division. Clearly an upside pick, Carolina liked his skating ability and his work rate. Killinen should take a step forward in competition this season, which should give us a better idea of where he will fit in down the road. Project player for the future.


Round 6 (166th Overall) – Jesper Sellgren, D


After being passed up on his first couple chances of being drafted, Carolina decided to scoop up the puck-moving, undersized blueliner with one of their final picks. Sellgren, now 20, was a solid performer for Sweden’s World Junior silver winning team in January, and put up decent numbers in almost 100 Allsvenskan games, and will take a step up to the SHL this coming season. Given his advanced age, Sellgren’s game probably won’t grow leaps and bounds at this point, but rather will be refined to get the most out of his stature and skill set.


Round 7 (197th Overall) – Jake Kucharski, G


Carolina rounded out their draft with Kucharski, a big-bodied, raw goaltender who is committed to Providence College for next season. Although he didn’t have great numbers for Des Moines of the USHL, there is a lot to like about Kucharski’s measurables and competitiveness.


Development Camp Roster


Left Wing

Right Wing



Eetu Luostarinen

Max Zimmer

Andrei Svechnikov

Jake Bean

Jake Kucharski

Morgan Geekie

Luke Stevens

Stelio Mattheos

Michael Fora

Jeremy Helvig

Matt Filipe

Brendan Budy

Lenni Killinen

Adam Fox

Jack LaFontaine

Luke Henman


Gordie Green

Luke Martin

Mario Culina

Jack Drury


Alex Whelan

Jesper Sellgren


David Cotton



Brendan de Jong


Martin Necas



Ville Rasanen





Theo Calvas





Mitch Eliot



As expected, the headliners of Canes Prospect Camp were Necas and Svechnikov, who both have a good chance of making the club this year. Their play gave a glimpse of what is to come for Carolina as their recent years of good drafting starts to prove fruitful.


Defensively, Jake Bean and Adam Fox were Carolina’s top two defensemen in camp, but with Carolina’s defense (currently) set with the addition of Calvin de Haan this week, the prospects will likely be returning to the AHL and Harvard this upcoming season. A Justin Faulk trade is probable, which could open a spot for someone to step in as a seventh defenseman role. It’s more likely that someone like Trevor Carrick would be the option to step in, as I’m sure they would prefer their prospects play as many minutes as possible.


Also impressive were Eetu Luostarinen and Morgan Geekie. Geekie’s rookie season in the AHL will be one to follow closely. The Charlotte Checkers will have one of the AHL’s best forward groups next season, but Geekie should factor in. Luostarinen had a good year for KalPa and will spend another season in Finland before making his way to North America down the road.


Stelio Mattheos will be back in the WHL in 2018-19 and should be one of the league’s best offensive players. He was named to Canada’s WJC preliminary camp roster this week.


David Cotton always peaks my interest, as a player who could be a role player in the future.


Offseason Prospect Storylines


Now that Valentin Zykov, who led the AHL with 33 goals in 2017-18 has signed a two year, one-way contract in Carolina, how does his fantasy value react?


In capped, multi-category leagues, Zykov has a lot of value. He’s a cheap asset worth taking a shot on, that could pay dividends depending on where he is deployed. Given his ability to score at the AHL level, paired with solid production in limited NHL games (8 points in 12 games), Zykov could be an under the radar pickup for shrewd fantasy owners.


How does Jake Bean transition to the AHL? Does Adam Fox sign?


Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Dougie Hamilton and the newly inked Calvin de Haan will make up the Canes top four for the foreseeable future. If Faulk does get moved (he will), Carolina will likely enter the 2018-19 season with Trevor van Riemsdyk and Haydn Fleury as their fifth and sixth defensemen. There will be a spot open as Carolina’s seventh defenseman, which could be filled by Carrick or Roland McKeown.


Bean’s development will be key towards providing more depth for the organization in terms of the blueline. His first year at the AHL level should help him tremendously in terms of structure and consistency after dealing with a long-term injury, two World Juniors and an in-season trade over the past two seasons.


Fox was a huge part of the Calgary-Carolina draft day trade. You don’t give up players like Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm and not benefit from all the pieces of the trade. Signability was rumored to be an issue between Fox and Calgary, and Carolina will go all in to make sure they can get him inked to a contract, and chatter from prospect camp was positive. If that will happen, remains to be seen.


Who are the Canes prospects with an NHL shot this season?


Forward locks to start the year: Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Staal, Justin Williams, Jeff Skinner*, Victor Rask*, Micheal Ferland, Jordan Martinook, Brock McGinn, Andrei Svechnikov, Valentin Zykov

*Candidates for trade


Who to keep an eye on through camp: Martin Necas, Lucas Wallmark, Warren Foegele, Saku Maenalanen, Aleksi Saarela


Defensive locks to start the year: Dougie Hamilton, Jaccob Slavin, Calvin de Haan, Brett Pesce, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Haydn Fleury


Who to keep an eye on through camp: Trevor Carrick, Roland McKeown, Jake Bean


Kevin LeBlanc


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Colby Barlow 8.0 9.5
Ville Heinola 6.5 8.5
Dylan Coghlan 4.5 7.5
Oskar Magnusson 6.5 4.0
Patrick Guay 7.0 5.0
Brandon Lisowsky 6.5 5.5
Nick Malik 4.5 1.0
Kyle Jackson 6.0 5.0
Viktor Persson 6.0 2.0
Jeremy Langlois 6 5.5