“We’re kind of living off other people’s drafts and getting their development started and jumping in and us getting them at young ages.”
This quote came from GM Jim Rutherford to TSN shortly after acquiring defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti from the New York Rangers. Rutherford, of course, refers to trading for former first round picks like Anton Babchuk, Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason– all of which figure to backbone the Carolina back end.
In Sanguinetti, the Canes get a two-time AHL All Star who recently shattered the speed record previously set by speedster Andrew Cogliano. Despite playing successfully for the organization, the 22-year-old got passed by Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy. By drafting defenseman Dylan McIlrath in the first round and attempting to lock in Ryan McDonough, the team found no need for the player they selected one pick before Claude Giroux.
The Canes also acquired Riley Nash and AHL center Jonathan Matsumoto, adding them to the mix of potential roster players next season. With the likely departure of Ray Whitney, Sergei Samsonov and Rob Brind’Amour, players like Drayson Bowman, Zac Dalpe, Zach Boychuk, Jerome Samsom, Jiri Tlusty and the newly acquired forwards could battle it out for a top six or nine slot.
Expect growing pains with the Canes, as you should with any young team.
With a core of Tuomo Ruutu, Eric Staal, Gleason, Pitkanen and Cam Ward mixing with promising young players like Brandon Sutter and Jamie McBain in the pipeline expect the Canes to be much better than the rest. Rutherford should teach lessons to every GM on how to properly stockpile assets.