Before the draft resumed at 10 a.m., reports circulated and were confirmed that the Hurricanes had acquired goaltender Eddie Lack from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Carolina’s third pick (66th overall) later in the draft and a seventh round pick in 2016.
The trade wasn’t a surprise for Lack, who indicated during a conference call that he had been following media reports that Vancouver was interested in moving him.
“I’ve been following this in the media the past couple of weeks,” Lack said.
“I hadn’t really heard anything until I talked to Trevor (Linden) this morning.”
As that news passed, the Hurricanes continued to make their selections.
Even by trading their third round selection, Carolina ended the day adding eight more prospects to go along with its top pick, defenseman Noah Hanifin, selected fifth overall on Friday.
Francis and his scouting staff continued down their list and selected Finnish right winger Sebastian Aho from Karpat of the Finnish League in the second round, 35th overall.
The Hurricanes then waited for the fourth round during which they selected goaltender Callum Booth (93rd) and center Nicolas Roy. (96th).
It was shortly after that time, that a trade with the Anaheim Ducks was officially announced as Carolina acquired defenseman James Wisniewski for goaltender Anton Khudobin.
“When we look at our team, an area we want to improve on is defense,” Francis said.
“The first deal we were able to get was Wisniewski and it took Khudobin to do that. Then, obviously when you do that, you need a goaltender to fill and we felt that Eddie Lack was more than capable to step in and play games.”
According to Francis, both deals were happening at the same time while Carolina continued to make its draft selections.
“We really didn’t want to do one without the other,” he said.
The Hurricanes completed their final three rounds by picking Luke Stevens (126th) and Spencer Smallman (138th) in the fifth, Jake Massie (156th) and David Cotton (169th) in the sixth, and Steven Lorentz (186th) in the seventh.
Finishing with six forwards, two defensemen and a goalie, Francis was happy with the work he and his staff completed during the draft.
“Overall, we’re very pleased with what we got,” he said.
“We got some skill. We got some size. We got guys that can skate. Hopefully we’re right, and we’ll find out in about three, four years.”
While selecting for the team’s long-term future, Francis indicated that there were still areas and transactions to be made to improve his team in the coming days, weeks, and months.
“There’s still potentially more to do,” he concluded.
“We’ll continue to have conversations.”
Carolina Hurricanes – 2015 Draft picks
- Defenseman, Boston College (Hockey East)
- Right Wing, Karpat (Finnish Hockey League)
- Goalie, Quebec (QMJHL)
- Center, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
- Left Wing, Noble & Greenough (HS)
- Right Wing, Saint John (QMJHL)
- Defenseman, Kimball Union (HS)
- Center, Cushing Academy (HS)
- Center/Left Wing, Peterborough (OHL)