2. Carolina Hurricanes – Andrei Svechnikov
Svechnikov is coming off a season with the Barrie Colts of the OHL in which he won the Emms Family Award as the OHL’s Rookie of the Year. He had 40 goals and 72 points in just 44 games, the highest-scoring rookie in a season where he missed some time with an injury as well as leaving to the team to participate in the World Juniors. His 1.64 points per game was actually the fifth-best average in the entire OHL.
The question is if he will let his aggressiveness get the better of him. He finished 35th in penalty minutes in the OHL. No one above him had nearly as many goals as him except for Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nic Hague, who is a defenseman. Toughness is a good thing to have but you can’t score any goals while you’re sitting in the penalty box.
He also has to improve on his skating, but that’s something that can be worked on by a skating coach. While it might hold him back a little, his scoring touch should overlook that.
Now, a lot has been said about the Hurricanes would rather draft Filip Zadina. Doing so reunite him former linemate Martin Necas, the Hurricanes’ first-rounder last year. While that would not be surprising if it were to happen, they just can’t afford to pass on Svechnikov. The young Russian is NHL-ready and can jump immediately into the Hurricanes’ lineup. The same can’t be said for Zadina. He even said this about possibly joining the Hurricanes,
"“That’s a team that looks like they’re on the way up… They have a lot of good young players, and that suits me well."
If that suits him well, getting passed over and being selected by one of the next two teams wouldn’t exactly be that great based on where are projecting to go.