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Francis Remains Active Ahead of 2017 NHL Draft

Canes hold 12th overall pick in first round

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Visit for the latest news, videos and pick-by-pick information in the 2017 NHL Draft.

CHICAGO - The draft floor at United Center is buzzing with energy ahead of the 2017 NHL Draft.

Carolina Hurricanes Executive Vice President and General Manager Ron Francis has been busy, too, but nothing has materialized today. Yet.

"I'm definitely getting my money's worth on my phone plan this month. There's been a lot of chatter," he said. "You never know what's going to happen. There are a lot of variables that go into things. It's not for a lack of talking to people."

As of now, the Hurricanes hold the 12th overall pick in the first round.

"We're very confident we'll get a good player at 12," Francis said. "If something presents itself that makes sense, we're certainly open to doing something different."

Player movement around the league picked up on Friday, with a number of teams making high-profile moves. Francis said he wasn't surprised to see the uptick in activity.

"With the Vegas thing, it kind of log-jammed everything," he said. "George McPhee had everybody's car keys for a while and no one could drive, and then they get them back and it started snowballing."

Francis made a deal with McPhee that was made official on Thursday, acquiring defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, who Vegas selected from Chicago in the expansion draft.

"When we talked at the end of the year and the things we looked at, we wanted to talk about the goaltending. We think the Darling trade addresses what we're talking about there," Francis explained. "We talked about our 5-6 D-pair and trying to make that better. We thought last year it hurt us a bit at times. We think the addition of van Riemsdyk makes us better on the back-end. We're excited about those two, and we'll see if we can do anything else."

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