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Tweetmail No. 109: Last Week Today

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Hello and welcome to a weekly* feature on CarolinaHurricanes.com in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.

So about that * …

Yeah, so here’s what happened with last week’s Tweetmail. I had essentially written the meat of it Tuesday afternoon and was prepared to re-read it and touch it up on Wednesday morning before posting on the site. The first question of the mailbag was, “Do you foresee a blockbuster deal coming from Ron Francis on draft day?” from Reid F., and my answer was along the lines of, “I know nothing, but after what happened last year in Florida and considering the assets the organization has stockpiled, I think something will happen, maybe even before draft weekend.”

Lo and behold, Wednesday rolls around and Francis is wheeling and dealing with Chicago and a couple of re-signings are imminent. With a third (arguably more in terms of the content of the answer) of my Tweetmail now essentially irrelevant – but correct! – I decided it would be best to just gas the whole thing. There was plenty else happening.

I did save the rest of last week’s installment and threw in some more questions for this week’s super-sized edition. With that, let’s get to it!

With just days remaining until the 2016 NHL Draft begins in Buffalo (June 24-25), let’s talk potential picks. As we approached our coverage from a different angle, we didn’t get a chance to profile individual prospects this year. Had we looked at a set of 10, Logan Brown likely would have been included in that bunch.

At 6-foot-6 and 222 pounds, Brown is already built like a big man, and he uses that size to his advantage. He’s a smooth-skating, playmaking center. Who wouldn’t want to add a piece like that to their team?

It would make for quite the story if the Hurricanes could draft Logan, who is the son of former Hurricane Jeff Brown. Logan was born in Raleigh in 1998 when his dad skated in 32 games for the Canes during the team’s first season in North Carolina. The bulk of Logan’s hockey development happened in St. Louis in the Jr. Blues program.

In this draft, beyond the consensus top three picks of Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi, opinions begin to vary. At 13 and especially 21, projections are all over the map. But in assessing the collection of mock drafts and prospect rankings, Brown will likely come off the board in the 6-10 range.

So what are the chances the Hurricanes trade up? I’d say it’s a possibility, considering they have assets, including two first-round picks, to play with. Whether Brown would be the target is another debate, but I’d imagine he’s at least in the conversation.

“We have our list going and we’ve talked about a lot of different players. It’s pretty hard for us to pinpoint a player and say that we think we’re going to get this player where we pick, especially in this draft,” said Tony MacDonald, the Hurricanes director of amateur scouting. “We hope to get the player we want when we get there, but there’s certainly no guarantees that will happen. We’ll have probably four players that we think we might have a shot at there, and we’ll hope that we get one of them.”

Not yet, none at least that I can share. Like in years past, though, you can expect to see the majority of the team’s most recent draft class (which will be filled out this weekend in Buffalo) in addition to a number of returning prospects and a handful of invites. Unfortunately, I don’t believe newly signed Sebastian Aho is among the returning prospects; he’s played a lot of hockey, including the World Junior Championship and the World Championship, and will play even more hockey with the World Cup of Hockey in September, so I believe he’ll get a reprieve from the week in Raleigh.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I suppose there is one confirmed “attendee” – that’s the new head coach of the Charlotte Checkers, Ulf Samuelsson. Prospects Development Camp will be his first on-ice, hands-on experience with the organization’s prospects, some of which he might be coaching as early as this season.

“It’s exciting, just as it was meeting the owner in Charlotte and the people around that organization,” Samuelsson told me in a recent interview. “There are some improvements we’re looking to make over the summer as far as the environment, so it’s a process that’s started already. It will be a full-time gig over the summer to make sure we’re up and running when camp starts.”

Updates aplenty!

With help from the Hurricanes Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald and Video Scout and Assistant to the GM Darren Yorke, I wrote extensively about the Hurricanes’ haul from the 2015 NHL Draft. A year later, it’s already looking pretty good. You can check that out here.

A couple of prospect updates are also provided in this piece from Monday, in which I examine some of the later-round successes the Hurricanes have had in recent drafts.

In early May, Colleen Hamilton penned a two-part “In the System” series that profiled some of the Hurricanes’ top prospects. Part 1 is highlighted by Sebastian Aho and Nicolas Roy, and Part 2 hones in on 2014 draftees.

Finally, CanesVision put together 12 prospect profiles, quick-hitting, informative videos that feature player highlights from this season, all of which can be seen here.

And if that isn’t enough, Prospects Development Camp is just two weeks away. There will be much more prospects-centric content coming your way then!

There have been worse ideas.

I probably couldn’t get away with an *entire* Tweetmail devoted to “Mr. Robot,” but I did manage to answer an entire question (and complete one-third of a Tweetmail post) with Spongebob GIFs. So there’s that, maybe one of my greatest accomplishments in Tweetmail – and perhaps on the World Wide Web – ever.

Congratulations, first of all! This is a Tweetmail first, and I’m not even sure what to propose, so I’ll submit this one to the readers – any suggestions?

***

Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered or you’d like my thoughts on the “Person of Interest” series finale, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.



Michael Smith
MICHAEL SMITH is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.

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