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'CANES NAB DINGMAN, FILL THE GAPS

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
RALEIGH (June 24, 2001) -- The Carolina Hurricanes highlightedday two of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by trading their fifth-round pickto the Colorado Avalanche for left-winger Chris Dingman.

Dingman registered four assists in 16 games for the Avalanche in their2001 playoff run that ended with the franchise winning their secondStanley Cup.

Jim Rutherford, CEO and General Manager of the Hurricanes felt that hegot quite a deal from Colorado.

“The Dingman trade just came out of nowhere, today,” said Rutherford.“The fact that we could get a guy like this, a big, tough left-winger,we didn’t want to pass on that. We didn’t sit down and go through ourdepth-chart and see where he fit. This is a guy we really liked.”

This was not the first time Rutherford had discussed the24-year old Edmonton native with the Avs. The Carolina general manager saidColorado’s staff approached the Hurricanes regardingDingman.

“I had asked about Dingman earlier in the year, so, they knew I hadinterest in him,” said Rutherford. "With what they have with some oftheir young players coming up they wanted to make some room and, inorder to do that they had to move somebody. Dingman was the guy.”

Dingman said that the trade was a bit of a shock but he is excitedabout the prospect of playing in Carolina.

“I just want to play,” said Dingman. “Winning (the Stanley Cup) wasgreat but to me where you play doesn’t really matter, it’s what you do.I just want the opportunity to play.”

At the same time as the Dingman deal took place the Hurricanes tradedtheir 2002 third round pick to Philadelphia for the Flyer’s fourthround pick. The Hurricanes then selected Plymouth Whalers goaltenderRob Zepp with the 110th overall pick.

“In the third round, our plan was to take a goalie," said Rutherford. "Our guysliked (forward Kevin) Estrada a lot and we didn’t want to wait (to select Estrada) until the fifth round. We wanted to make surethat we got one of the (goalies) that we really liked. Zepp was thatguy.”

Zepp completed his third season with the Whalers – the Ontario HockeyLeague team owned by Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos – with a 34-18-3record, a 2.26 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. TheAtlanta Thrashers orginally drafted Zepp at the 1999 NHL Entry Draftbut failed to come to terms with the 20-year old Newmark, Ont. native.

“I’m proud to be part of a great organization,” said Zepp. “I’ve beenplaying in Plymouth for three years and that’s basically part of theorganization being owned by Peter Karmanos. I’m very fortunate to catchon with this organization that has a lot of opportunity. I’m reallylooking forward to it – I think it worked out pretty well.”

The Hurricanes selected goaltender Daniel Boisclair with their sixthround pick. Boisclair played with the Cape Breton Eagles of the QuebecMajor Junior Hockey League where he recorded a 3.98 goals againstaverage and a .877 save percentage during 2000-01.

“He has good size,” said Rutherford. “He played on a weak team. Catcheswith the right hand and he’s a pretty solid goalie fundamentally. I think when a goalie like thisslips to that round there’s still an up-side because part of him slipping there could be because he played for aweak team.”

The Hurricanes went back on the defense in the seventh round when theyselected Sean Curry of the Western Hockey League's Tri-City Americans.

“He’s more of a defensive-type defenseman,” said Rutherford. “Hisplus-minus rating was real high on a team that didn’t have a lot ofplus players.”

The Hurricanes continued to build defensive strength in their system byselecting Carter Trevisani of the Ottawa 67s in the eighth round.Trevisani left the draft before his selection having expected to bepicked higher than 244th.

The Canes wrapped their day by picking up Peter Reynolds of the NorthBay Centennials in the ninth round. Another defenseman, Reynoldstallied 29 points (2g, 27a) in 58 games during 2000-01. Reynolds wasthe 60th overall choice (2nd round) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1999but failed to come to terms with the team.

So, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft the Hurricanes did what they needed todo. They added strength and depth at the defense and forward positionswhile acquiring future NHL goaltenders to fill Irbe’s role in thecoming years. When it’s all said and done… a cool draft.

Carolina Hurricanes Website Reporter Kyle S. Hanlin can be reached at kyleh@carolinahurricanes.com.

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