Despite finishing with the 11th worst record in the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes were the biggest mover in the NHL Draft Lottery.
Despite having just a 9.8 percent chance at a top-3 pick, the Hurricanes moved up nine spots and will pick second overall for the first time since 2003—when they selected Eric Staal. This is also the third time in six drafts that they will have picked in the top-5—they selected Elias Lindholm (No.5 in 2013) and Noah Hanifin (No.5 in 2015) with those other two picks.
The Buffalo Sabres took Rasmus Dahlin (LHD) first overall, so the Hurricanes are on the clock.
With the No.2 Overall Pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Carolina Hurricanes select…
Andrei Svechnikov — RW — Russia ????????
Svechnikov’s 2017-18 season got off to a rough start. The 18-year-old suffered a hand injury in mid-October and ended up missing 17 games before returning on December 8th. Despite only playing in 44 games, Svechnikov finished second in Barrie Colts’ scoring, picking up 40 goals and 32 assists (72 points).
Svechnikov also made Russia’s World Juniors roster and picked up five assists in five games, despite playing limited minutes.
Andrei Svechnikov is the brother of Red Wings’ prospect Evgeny Svechnikov, but is believed by many to be NHL-ready as soon as next season, unlike his brother. Svechnikov is the No.1 ranked North American skater and is widely considered the best forward available.
The Hurricanes finished 23rd in the NHL in goals-per-game (2.74) last season despite posting the best CorsiFor% (54.48) in hockey. Adding a winger like Svechnikov to their lineup as soon as 2018-19 would help bolster an offence that has been on the brink of breaking out for a few seasons. Svechnikov would join a talented young forward group that already consists of players like Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen.
Svechnikov is a big, strong kid with an extremely heavy shot—making him comparable to another No.2 overall pick, Patrik Laine.
“I think if there’s one [CHL] player right now who can step into an NHL lineup it would probably be [Svechnikov]. He’s big and his shot is so powerful. He just drops the shoulder and turns it on; you can’t stop him. His shot bides him so much time and space that defenders have to play up on him, but he has the skill to dance around you. He’s a magician on the half-wall on the power play.” — Karl Stewart (NHL Central Scouting)
“Blend of skill, sense, power and drive that reminds me in style of Marian Hossa. He’s a factor in the game in all areas and will be in the NHL next season.” — Craig Button (TSN)