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Tweetmail No. 135: Picks, Injuries & Anniversary

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

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.

Tweet from @B_Low_: @MSmithCanes what do you suppose GMRF does with all these draft picks? Move up? Or try & keep getting solid players later? (49, 27, 20)

The Hurricanes currently hold 11 picks in the 2017 NHL Draft, including seven in the first three rounds alone (one in the first, three in the second and three in the third). What the Hurricanes do with those picks - either use them on selections come draft day or package them in a larger trade deal - will certainly be something to keep an eye on as June draws nearer.

If I had to take a guess right now, I'd say the Hurricanes won't make all 11 picks come draft weekend in Chicago (June 23-24). How that comes about I'm not sure, but I would venture to say at least one pick is moved in some sort of trade, whether that is to move up in the draft or to acquire an asset.

Then again, picking early and often is never a bad thing.

Tweet from @MikeSundheim: Slavin is case in point for acquiring draft picks in volume. Pick was acquired from NJ for Ponikarovsky. More bullets = more chances to hit. https://t.co/hIU1PS8tbp

As noted, the more picks you have, the better chance you have at finding a player in the draft. Just look at some of the Hurricanes' recent later-round successes: Sebastian Aho, Justin Faulk and Victor Rask were second-round picks, Brett Pesce was a third-round pick, Jaccob Slavin was a fourth-round pick and Frederik Andersen, though he didn't end up signing with the organization, was a seventh-round pick.

So while I think at least one of those picks is moved prior to the 2017 NHL Draft, don't be surprised if you hear the Hurricanes called upon 11 times that weekend.

Tweet from @lisajnc: @MSmithCanes Any update on Brock McGinn?

Brock McGinn, who has missed the Hurricanes' last four games with an upper-body injury, did not make the trip out West to Arizona and Colorado. Before the team left, head coach Bill Peters expressed hope that he might be able to return when the Canes host the Rangers on Thursday, but he hasn't skated with the team in over a week now, so that might be a little optimistic at this point. The team did not practice today after essentially flying a red eye home from Colorado, so we might have an additional update to pass along on Thursday.

With Phil Di Giuseppe also sidelined due to an upper-body injury, the Hurricanes played down a forward in Colorado on Tuesday night. That likely hampered their offensive production, but what was also noticeable were the absences of McGinn and Di Giuseppe.

"You miss Ginner and Phil because of the energy and physicality they bring to the game," Peters said. "They drag guys into the battle. Definitely miss those guys."

Tweet from @jeremymoorenc: @MSmithCanes Is there a documented case of a major sports professional athlete returning to play after a MS diagnosis?

Goaltender Josh Harding was diagnosed with MS in the fall of 2012. You'll recall: the 2012-13 season was halved due to a work stoppage, but Harding returned to the crease and appeared in five games during the shortened season. After starter Niklas Backstrom was injured prior to the first round of the playoffs, Harding back-stopped the team until their exit after game five.

In 2013-14, Harding appeared in 29 games for the Wild but has since left hockey. He and Jordan Sigalet, another goalie who was diagnosed with MS, have been in contact with Bryan Bickell since his diagnosis. Scott Burnside from ESPN.com penned a good read in November about this.

Tweet from @J_Money2917: @MSmithCanes any plans being made for the team's 20th anniversary?

The Hurricanes will celebrate their 20th anniversary season in 2017-18, and yes, plans are being made to honor that occasion. I can't share much right now, but you'll be hearing a lot more about the team's 20th anniversary over the summer, so stay tuned!

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Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you'd like answered or you want to chat about "The Night Manager," as late as I may be on this one, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.

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