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.
Sure, Calzone Master!
The Hurricanes have a plethora of picks in the 2016 NHL Draft, including seven – yes, seven! – in the first three rounds. In total, the Canes hold 10 picks in seven rounds, with the possibility of that number swelling to 11 should conditions be met to acquire Los Angeles’ 5th round pick (included in the Kris Versteeg trade).
Here’s how it breaks down.
- 1st: 2 picks – CAR and LA
- 2nd: 2 picks – CAR and NYR
- 3rd: 3 picks – CAR, BOS and WPG
- 4th: 1 pick
- 5th: 1 pick (plus a conditional pick from LA)
- 6th: 1 pick
- 7th: None
These 10 selections are extremely valuable commodities, no matter how they are put to use come draft day in Buffalo.
“We have an abundance of picks and now we have to look at the next stage,” said Canes GM Ron Francis at the trade deadline. “Is that drafting the right players or turning those picks around for other assets in our lineup?”
I’m not in the locker room constantly with the team, so I can only speak to so much of what I see and hear. But I can relay what players have said about the mood of the team recently, and it’s probably as you would expect: it was a tough couple of days, and the team is dealing with the departure of their captain and pair of other veterans.
“It’s been a little bit quiet today. Everyone is trying to tip-toe around trying to find their roles and everything,” Eddie Lack said in New Jersey. “That’s natural when a leader like that is leaving you.”
Sunday’s game against St. Louis was one animal; the Hurricanes were playing on fumes, searching somehow and some way to muster up the emotional energy required to be competitive after just learning of the fate of their captain. I was curious, then, to see how the team would respond in New Jersey with a revamped squad and an influx of youth.
“Before the game, everyone became more vocal and we stepped up,” Lack said after he made 29 saves and the Canes defeated the Devils 3-1.
A win like the Canes had on Tuesday night, one that was won in the last 90 seconds of the game after a tight and evenly matched battle for nearly 60 minutes, can maybe relax some of the emotions of the weekend.
“It’s been quiet around our room a little bit, quieter than usual. We’ll snap out of it,” head coach Bill Peters said after the game. “A lot of good things tonight.”
Andrej Nestrasil will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 regular season with a fractured vertebra, as announced by the Hurricanes on Tuesday. To your question, Peters was asked about this after practice on Wednesday.
Will he be ready for training camp? “Oh yeah, for sure,” Peters responded without hesitation. “He’s a tough kid. He wants to play.”
As far as when Nestrasil will be able to return to the ice, Peters estimated it at three months.
“He’ll be chomping at the bit,” Peters said. “He’s a hard-working guy, and he’s made himself into a player. We miss him right now.”
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered or you’d like to know more about Eddie Lack’s new black gear, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email