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Canes Bulk Up on Day Two

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 3:00 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Canes Bulk Up on Day Two
2014 NHL Draft 2014 NHL Draft: Complete Coverage
Live Blog: Round 1
Live Blog: Rounds 2-7
Canes Nab Fleury in First Round
'Absolutely Surreal' Experience for Fleury
Day Two: Pick-by-Pick
Wesley Paves New Trail




PHILADELPHIA -- Adding size was something the Carolina Hurricanes wanted to address heading into the second day of the 2014 NHL Draft, and they were able to accomplish just that.

Michael Smith
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Of the five skaters and a goaltender chosen in rounds two through seven, four were at least six feet tall with each of those players pushing at least 180 pounds.

“We thought it went pretty well. We’re pleased with all the players we got,” said Tony MacDonald, the Canes head of amateur scouting. “We added some size, which was something that we wanted to address.”

That said, the Canes weren’t willing to skimp on skill or skating or upside just for the sake of getting bigger; the size had to be a component of a well-rounded package.

“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.”

After no goaltenders were taken off the board in Friday’s first round, four were chosen in the first nine picks on Saturday. Alex Nedeljkovic was one of them, taken 37th overall. The pick landed the Canes the Ontario Hockey League’s goaltender of the year in 2013-14 and helps to shore up the organizational depth in the crease.

“Alex is an athletic goaltender. He’s very quick. He’s very smart, and he understands the game very well,” MacDonald said. “We’re pretty pleased that we’ve added another quality goaltender to our [group].”

In the fourth round, the Canes scooped up a teammate of Nedeljkovic’s: Plymouth defenseman and Raleigh product Josh Wesley. He marks North Carolina’s first homegrown talent to be drafted into the NHL, and he joins the organization that retired his father’s No. 2 in 2009.

“I’m so blessed to have this jersey on right now,” Wesley said with an inerasable smile on his face. “Growing up, this was my favorite team to watch. I had Hurricanes stuff.”

“I interviewed Josh myself in Toronto and found him to be an outstanding young man,” MacDonald said. “He’s a fine man with some good physical tools. He’s growing and developing as a player.”

“He’s just a great kid,” Francis said. “It was neat for us to see a kid come to the table just so excited to be a part of the Carolina Hurricanes.”

Additionally, the Canes added forwards Warren Foegele, Lucas Wallmark and Clark Bishop and defenseman Kyle Jenkins.

Bishop, ranked 48th at midterms and 104th at finals by the NHL’s Central Scouting, was a player the Canes were able to snag later than expected – 127th overall in the fifth round.

“He was a bit of an under-the-radar guy,” MacDonald said. “We had him a lot higher on our list than where we took him.”

“The key point with the Draft is that you have to trust your scouts,” Francis said. “These are the guys that have been on the road and have watched some of these kids for two-plus years. They know them better than anybody.”

Looking to add some size, the Canes did just that with their six picks on the second day of the Draft. And, perhaps most importantly, they didn’t compromise in other areas, as well.

“We didn’t give up anything in terms of skill or potential, and that’s the important part,” MacDonald said. “The players we got that do have size also bring a lot to the table in terms of their ability to play the game.”



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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