Hurricanes complete NHL draft by restocking prospect inventory for the future

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PHILADELPHIA, PA. – After selecting defenseman Haydn Fleury with their first pick, the Carolina Hurricanes finished their draft selections after perusing the leaner portions of the league’s available incoming talent pool during the remaining six rounds of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

Carolina selected a hard-working goaltender (Alex Nedeljkovic – 37th overall), a physical two-way left winger out of prep school (Warren Foegele – 67th overall), a homegrown shutdown defenseman (Josh Wesley – 96th overall), two compact centers (Lucas Wallmark – 97th overall, Clark Bishop – 127th overall), and an offensively-minded blueliner (Kyle Jenkins- 187th overall) respectively.

According to Hurricanes director of amateur scouting Tony MacDonald, the organization got most of what it was looking to find and selected players who possessed size and skill and much potential for development.

“We’re really happy with how it ended up,” MacDonald said.

“We got players that we liked, players that we wanted. We’ll take what we got and are quite pleased with it.”

It was clearly a draft that was needed to replenish and re-fertilize the current crop of players in a development system that would thin out quickly if that priority was not achieved this year.

It wasn’t perfect, as Carolina missed out on a player they wanted, but as Macdonald put it, ”that’s the way it works on this day of the draft.”

After recently finishing his first full-time coaching hire, executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis could check off the draft as his first in his new position.

Similar to the process he went through to hire head coach Bill Peters, Francis utilized a team approach to the decision-making process that resulted in the team’s picks over the past two days.

“I’m fortunate, I’ve got a very experienced scouting staff that’s been around for a long time and they’ve been at this job for a while,” Francis said.

“In different roles, I’ve built a relationship with them over time. I’ve spent a lot of time on the road with them, so they understand what I like to look for and my kind of players. We’ve got a good working relationship and communication and if there’s somebody that I want at a certain time, then we talk about it. If there’s something they want, they explain to me why they want it, and we analyze the information and make the best decision possible for what we think is best for our team.”

As each selection was revealed, it was evident that the group of players represented a variety of pieces who could fit into the Hurricanes’ makeup in the future, but few that would in the present.

“I think we got some good hockey players,” Francis said.

“You never know what you have until you get down the road a little bit in a year or two…“I think we added some good hockey players and foremost we added some size to our lineup with guys that can skate. Hopefully they develop the way we think they can. It’s important for us to build that base.”

Carolina Hurricanes 2014 NHL Entry Draft Selections

Rd    Pick #   Name                             Ht.        Wt.        Pos.      Team (League)

1       7            Haydn Fleury                6’2”       203       D           Red Deer (WHL)

2       37          Alex Nedeljkovic          5’11”     190       G           Plymouth (OHL)

3       67          Warren Foegele          6’0”       178       LW        St. Andrews (CISAA)

4       96          Josh Wesley                 6’2”       194       D           Plymouth (OHL)

4       97          Lucas Wallmark           6’0”       176      C           Lulea (SWE)

5       127        Clark Bishop                 5’11”     182       C           Cape Breton (QMJHL)

7       187        Kyle Jenkins                 6’0”       166       D           Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)