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Canes Collect 11 Players on Day 2 of 2019 NHL Draft

Canes make three trades, add picks on a busy second day

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

Visit Hurricanes.com/Draft for the latest news, videos and pick-by-pick information in the 2019 NHL Draft.


VANCOUVER - The Carolina Hurricanes came into the second day of the 2019 NHL Draft with nine picks.

Three trades and a handful of hours later, the Hurricanes left having acquired assets for the future and having made 11 picks on day two and a total of 12 for the weekend, tied for the second-most picks in a single draft in franchise history.

"It's been an interesting day," Hurricanes President and General Manager Don Waddell said. "We felt like we had a lot of guys on our list that we liked, so we wanted to add a few picks as we went along."

"You look at where we had our draft list and the names we came out with, it was some names we might not have expected to get there. They sort of fell to us," Hurricanes Director of Player Personnel Darren Yorke said. "We looked at getting better in terms of our speed and skill. It was a really exciting day."

The Hurricanes were active early Saturday morning in advance of the second-round proceedings. In a swap with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Hurricanes acquired Toronto's first-round pick (conditional) and seventh-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and forward Patrick Marleau in exchange for the Canes' sixth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

The headline of the trade is Toronto's first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Should it be a top 10 selection, the Hurricanes will instead receive Toronto's first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. In either case, the Canes have added an additional first-round pick to their collection of future assets.

"That's important for the future," Waddell said.

Video: 2019 NHL Draft: Don Waddell

The wild card of this trade is Marleau. The 39-year-old veteran forward has a year remaining on his three-year contract and carries a cap hit of $6.25 million. That was an issue for the Maple Leafs, who are pressed tightly up against the cap ceiling, but the Hurricanes have ample room to absorb the final year of his contract.

But, Marleau's immediate future remains uncertain. Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported earlier this month that Marleau's family was moving back to San Jose, where he played for 19 seasons, and that he was hoping to be dealt back to the west coast. The Hurricanes plan to chat with Marleau to gauge his temperature on the 2019-20 season, which would be his 22nd in the league, but could opt to buy him out of the final year of his contract (or, in a less likely scenario, trade him again).

"If he wanted to be a Hurricane, we'd certainly love to have him," Waddell said.

With that sorted, attention turned to the Hurricanes' draft table, which was bustling with activity early. The Canes held three picks in the second round, including back-to-back selections at 36 and 37, but the team opted to flip two of the picks (37 and 59) to move back in the second round (44) and add two additional third-round picks (73 and 83).

Ultimately, the moves were about asset management.

"You've got to be careful because you don't want to trade out of a spot if there's a guy you really like," Waddell said. "In our case, a couple times when we traded down, we had three or four guys we really liked and felt they would be available at our next pick. That's why we were able to trade down and add a few picks."

Video: 2019 NHL Draft: Darren Yorke

"You're managing the draft a little bit in terms of trying to accumulate more assets and looking at your draft list and trying to see what names may be available," Yorke said. "We were able to get the names we targeted and still acquire more picks."

The Hurricanes' haul on day two included seven forwards, three defensemen and a goaltender. Among the group were three Americans, three Finns, three Canadiens and two Russians, and though each of the players selected varies in some form or fashion, there's a common thread linking them all.

"We went in trying to get the best players available," Yorke said. "It wasn't so much about need but more looking at where the game is going. We're talking about speed, skill and compete."

With the 36th overall pick, the Hurricanes selected Russian goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov, who was NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked European netminder in this year's draft. Kochetkov captured bronze with the Russian national team at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, where he was named top goaltender in the tournament with a 4-1 record, a 1.45 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage.

"It's that big, athletic goalie that can really steal games," Yorke said. "It's another guy we're really excited to have."

The Hurricanes then snagged a pair of forwards - Jamieson Rees from Sarnia of the Ontario Hockey League and Patrik Puistola from Finland - with their next two picks.

Video: 2019 NHL Draft: Jamieson Rees

"[Rees] is the type of player that our fans are going to love. It's a guy who is basically the Rod Brind'Amour-type player who plays extremely hard and can make big hits," Yorke said. "He came into the under-18s and really was a firestarter for Team Canada in being able to play physical and be hard to play against, as well as scoring."

"You can describe me as a very high-compete forward with good offensive ability," Rees said. "Very physical. Very versatile and able to play many different roles."

Video: 2019 NHL Draft: Patrik Puistola

The Hurricanes then landed a trio of defensemen, including Anttoni Honka, whose brother, Julius, plays in the Dallas Stars organization, and Cade Webber, a big, rangy blueliner who measures in at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds. Defenseman Domenick Fensore from the U.S. National Team Development Program is a bit smaller - 5-foot-8 and 153 pounds - but fits the Canes' bill of a skilled, competitive hockey player.

"Ever since I was growing up, I was not the tallest guy, so I had to work a lot harder than everyone else," Fensore said. "I want to be the best player on the ice every day I go into practice."

Video: 2019 NHL Draft: Domenick Fensore

"This kid is a breakout machine. He's able to go back, get the puck and carry it into the offensive zone. He can make plays from a breakout perspective. He can run a power play," Yorke said. "The only reason he's where we drafted him is maybe people were a little bit worried about his size, but that's not how you should be describing these players; you should be talking about what they bring from a skill standpoint, and this kid has a ton of it."

A run of five forwards rounded out the Hurricanes' selections on day two. Among that group is Finnish winger Tuukka Tieksola and Russian winger Kirill Slepets.

"The common thread we're all going for is speed. This guy can absolutely fly," Yorke said of Slepets. "He can push the pace, get in on the forecheck and create havoc."

With the end of the 2019 NHL Draft comes the end of the road for two Hurricanes' scouts: Tony MacDonald, who spearheaded the team's amateur scouting, and Bert Marshall.

"Tony has been with the organization for I think 25 or 26 years and has done a tremendous job if you look at a lot of the picks the Hurricanes and even going back to the Whalers have had over the years," Waddell said. "He's a tremendous leader and a good person. We're sad to see him leave but happy for him to move into the next chapter of his life.

"Bert Marshall has been with the organization for 23 years. He lives out west here and has done a really good job handling the west for us, and we wish him nothing but the best."

Video: 2019 NHL Draft: Cade Webber

Up next for most of the newest members of the Hurricanes' organization will be Prospects Development Camp, which begins on ice at PNC Arena on Wednesday. For these teenagers, drafted into the NHL was the realization of one dream, and Prospects Development Camp is the next step on their journey to the best hockey league in the world.

"It's just a dream come true right now," Fensore said. "My head is spinning. I don't even know what happened in that moment. I've been dreaming about this my whole life. It's awesome."

"Very excited. It was a dream my whole life," Webber said. "As a little kid, this is what you dream of. Sitting up there is obviously nerve-wracking. Finally, when your name is called, you jump up. It's just unreal."

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