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.
Let’s get to it.
If there is a common theme running through draft picks, what would that be? – Doug A. (@dabrams2021)
More importantly, size without compromising on skill, skating or upside.
“We thought it went pretty well. We’re pleased with all the players we got,” said Tony MacDonald, the Canes head of amateur scouting, in Philadelphia on Saturday. “We added some size, which was something that we wanted to address.”
“We went into it hoping we could get a bit bigger. It was nice when some of the guys came up and I was looking up at them,” said Canes Executive Vice President and General Manager Ron Francis. “But we weren’t trying to get bigger by sacrificing talent or ability. We think the guys we got are good players, and we think they can skate, which is important in today’s game. And, by all accounts, they’re very character individuals, which is always important to us when we draft players.”
The size movement began in the first round, when the Canes drafted defenseman Haydn Fleury. Still a week shy of 18 years old, Fleury is already 6-foot-3 and 203 pounds. He’ll be a redwood once he fills out his frame.
On day two, the Canes drafted five skaters (plus a goaltender), four of which were at least six feet tall with each of those players pushing at least 180 pounds. On top of that, these are players who are still teenagers, with years of on- and off-ice training ahead to bulk up even more.
Ultimately, the Canes went after size in the City of Brotherly Love. They didn’t go out of their way to do so – for instance, picking a bigger guy even when they had more skilled, undersized players ranked higher – but when a deciding factor was necessary, size usually won out.
And that’s never a bad thing.
Will there be another version of Open Ice with another prospect this year? – Carson B. (@Carson_Brewer)
CanesVision will produce an Open Ice miniseries for the second summer in a row, following around a still-to-be-named player (or group of players) during Prospects Development Camp, which runs July 21-26 on the PNC Arena ice.
Ryan Murphy was the focus of last year’s six-episode docuseries which can be seen in its entirety here.
(Warning: The 15-second “theme song” will get stuck in your head.)
We’ll have more on Prospects Development Camp, Summerfest and Open Ice in the coming weeks, including a roster, detailed schedule and more. If you can’t make it to PNC Arena from the 23-26, we’ll have complete online coverage as always.
Any news on a goalie coach? – Leigh L. (@NCCaniac42)
I have nothing substantial to report, but do know that it’s on the “front office to-do list,” should one exist.
In his media availability on the opening day of free agency, Francis said, in response to a question about the Charlotte coaching staff, that hiring a goalie coach was the last order of coaching-related business to be taken care of.
As a refresher, the organization’s previous two goalie coaches have been Greg Stefan, who is now a professional scout, and Tom Barrasso, who most recently coached with former head coach Paul Maurice in the KHL.
Jack Bauer is the ultimate free agent. Will Ron Francis try to sign him? – Doug A. (@dabrams2021)
I would in a heartbeat. If nothing else, you know he will shoot his way to the front of the net. (See what I did there?)
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered or you’d like to set up a 24 watch party, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.