PHILADELPHIA, PA. – The Carolina Hurricanes selected Haydn Fleury from the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League (WHL) with their first pick, and seventh overall, in the opening round of the 2014 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft held at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday.
Fleury was only the second defenseman selected out of the first 10 players named, next to top overall pick Aaron Ekblad who was selected by the Florida Panthers.
Fleury, a six-foot-two-inch, 202-pound left-shooting defenseman from Carlyle, Saskatchewan was highly touted by scouts for his size and skating ability.
“Our guys really liked him,” Hurricanes executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis said of the work the scouting staff did in influencing the decision to select the big defenseman with their first pick.
“He’s a very big, mobile defenseman.”
Coming into the draft, NHL Central Scouting’s B.J. MacDonald said the following of Fleury:
“He’s got good, strong mobility, great vision and has a knack for making that first good outlet pass. He’s composed and calm with the puck and has an ability of knowing when to join the rush at the right moments.”
Francis concurred and more succinctly stated that the Hurricanes considered him as “the type of D for today’s game. He’s big, he’s mobile, and he skates extremely well.”
When asked who he thought he most resembled in his style of play, Fleury mentioned St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, another WHL product.
“Another solid two-way defenseman who plays in all situations of the game,” Fleury said.
“He plays big minutes, he generates offense and is very strong defensively as well.”
Fleury led all Red Deer defensemen in 2013-14, scoring 46 points (8g, 38a) in 70 games while posting a team leading plus-15 rating.
During his rookie season in 2012-13, he finished third among Rebels’ blueliners with 19 points (4g, 15a) in 66 games played.
Fleury’s international playing resume also includes helping Canada to earn gold in the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and bronze in the 2014 Under-18 World Championship in Finland where he also earned Best Defenseman recognition.