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Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Haydn Fleury

Thursday, 06.19.2014 / 10:00 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Draft Profile: Haydn Fleury
Haydn Fleury is the second-best defensive prospect available in the draft behind Aaron Ekblad.
Each weekday leading up to the 2014 NHL Draft on June 27-28, CarolinaHurricanes.com will profile one player we believe might be available for Carolina’s seventh pick. Previous Profiles: Aaron Ekblad | Leon Draisaitl | Michael Dal Colle | Sam Bennett | Related Links: 2014 NHL Draft Preview | Hurricanes Draft History




Michael Smith
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Though there is an air of unpredictability surrounding how the top picks of the 2014 NHL Draft might shake out, there are a few certainties, one of which is that the talent pool isn’t heavy on top defensive prospects.

Aaron Ekblad is very likely to be the first blue liner off the board, but fellow Canadian Haydn Fleury won’t be too far behind.

The NHL’s Central Scouting Service ranks Fleury, 17, ninth among North American skaters and second among defensemen.

“He probably epitomizes the so-called safe pick,” said Tony MacDonald, the Canes lead amateur scout. “He’s probably going to play for you for 10-12 years and give you great service. He’s a very reliable, solid guy.”

The 2013-14 season marked Fleury’s second full season with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. As an alternate captain, he paced team defensemen in scoring with 46 points (8g, 38a) in 70 games. That output was more than double the 19 points (4g, 15a) he recorded in 66 games as a rookie, which was still good for third-best among team defensemen.

HAYDN FLEURY
Haydn Fleury
DEFENSEMAN
HOMETOWN: CARLYLE, SASKATOON
HEIGHT: 6'3"
WEIGHT: 203
BIRTHDAY: JULY 8, 1996 (AGE 17)

“He skates very, very well and moves the puck well,” MacDonald said.

Additionally, the 6-foot-3, 203-pound defenseman finished at a team-high plus-15 on a Red Deer squad that had a minus-10 goal differential and failed to qualify for the postseason.

Following his sophomore season in the WHL, Fleury skated for the Canadian national team in the 2014 IIHF U-18 World Championship and captured a bronze medal in a 3-1 victory over Sweden. He also earned high honors as the tournament’s best defenseman.

“He’s very intelligent,” MacDonald said. “He’s not an overly physical guy, but he’s able to defend well.”

When discussing Fleury and the upside he brings, Central Scouting will offer up a comparison to Jay Bouwmeester, someone who makes it look easy in his own end and can make the first quick pass out of the zone to jump-start a rush.

Fleury is poised to become the third player from Carlyle, Saskatoon, a town of just 1,252 in his 1996 birth year, to skate in the NHL after forward Brenden Morrow – who babysat Fleury when he was a toddler – and forward Jim McKenzie.

As a big, mobile defenseman who is still evolving offensively and rounding out the defensive dimension in his game, Fleury possesses the qualities that should lead to him being a top-ten pick on draft day.

“He knows how to play the game, and he’s a pretty safe pick when it comes to defensemen,” MacDonald said.



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 61 26 31 4 157 191 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 61 12 28 -16 40
E. Staal 56 18 19 -10 37
E. Lindholm 60 11 16 -16 27
J. Skinner 56 16 10 -16 26
R. Nash 58 7 15 -9 22
N. Gerbe 57 7 15 -11 22
V. Rask 59 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 61 6 12 3 18
J. Staal 25 4 12 -2 16
A. Nestrasil 33 4 10 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 19 4 .913 2.37
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60