NHL Draft 2015: Carolina Hurricanes select defenseman Noah Hanifin fifth overall

National Hockey League, NHL.com

National Hockey League, NHL.com

SUNRISE, FLA. – The Carolina Hurricanes selected Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin as their first pick, fifth overall, in the 2015 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft at BB&T Center on Friday.

“We believe that the player we take should be capable of stepping in and playing,” Hurricanes director of amateur scouting Tony Macdonald said before the draft began.

The six-foot-three-inch, 203-pound Hanifin is the second straight and third defenseman selected as the Hurricanes’ top pick in the last five years.

His selection will continue to develop the Hurricanes’ defensive corps in the coming years.

Haydn Fleury, selected seventh overall in 2014, and Ryan Murphy, selected 12th overall in 2011, preceded him in donning Carolina’s hat and jersey on the draft stage.

“As a player, I think I’m a two-way guy who can contribute offensively,” Hanifin said of his style of play.

“I play a lot of minutes. I play against the top lines on other teams. I’m going to work as hard as I can to help them win a Stanley Cup. As a person, I’m a hard workin’ guy from Boston, a blue-collar town. My parents are extremely hard-working people and have made a lot of sacrifices for me to get here. I’m going to take those characteristics to Carolina.”

Hanifin tallied 23 points (5g, 18a) in 37 games with Boston College in 2014-2015 – third-most among freshmen NCAA Division I defensemen.

At 17, he became the youngest player ever to play for Boston College.

He was named a Hockey East Second Team All-Star,  was a unanimous selection to the Hockey East Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team, and represented Boston College as a Division I New England All-Star.

Hanifin’s international experience includes captaining Team USA to a gold medal at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and also winning gold with the U.S. at the 2014 Under-18 World Junior Championship.

Hanifin most recently skated for the U.S. at the 2015 World Junior Championship, posting two assists in five games.