With the 28th pick of the 2019 NHL Draft Friday night, Carolina selected high-scoring forward Ryan Suzuki.

The Ontario native recently finished his second OHL season with the Barrie Colts, where he led the team with 75 points (25g, 50a) in 65 games. Suzuki, a six-foot-tall center who was taken first overall by the Colts in the 2017 OHL Draft, has totaled 119 points (39g, 80a) over 129 games throughout his young junior career thus far.

Four the Carolina’s last six first-round picks were on the ice in Chicago earlier this month as the Checkers lifted the Calder Cup. Suzuki, who just turned 18 in May, won’t be eligible to suit up for the Checkers until he turns 20, however, per the league’s agreement with the CHL.

The Hurricanes had a busy second day of the draft, as they entered Saturday with nine picks across the next six rounds. After a trio of trades, however, Carolina ended up with a staggering 11 picks on day two, all of which are outlined below.

ROUND 2 - Pyotr Kochetkov (36), Jamieson Rees (44)

The Canes kicked off their second round by taking Russian netminder Pyotr Kochetkov at 36, making him their highest selected goalie since Cam Ward in 2002. Kochetkov, who turns 20 this week, helped lead Russia to a bronze medal at the most recent World Junior Championship and was named the tournament’s Best Goaltender. Kochetkov made his KHL debut last season and appeared in two games for Sochi, but was dealt late in the year to SKA St. Petersburg.

Carolina made another second-round selection just eight picks later, taking Ontario-born center Jamieson Rees. The 18-year-old just finished up his second OHL season for the Sarnia Sting, logging 32 points (10g, 22a) as injuries held him to just 37 games. Over his junior career Rees has 52 points (15g, 37a) in 83 games for Sarnia.

ROUND 3 - Patrik Puistola (73), Anttoni Honka (83), Domenick Fensore (90)

The Canes loaded up in the third round with three picks, starting with Finnish forward Patrik Puistola, who racked up 26 points (15g, 11a) in 22 games in his home country’s minor league while also debuting and logging 16 games in Liiga as a 17-year-old.

Carolina went back to Finland 10 picks later and took Anttoni Honka, an 18-year-old blue liner who helped lead his country to a gold medal at the 2019 World Junior Championship. Honka has logged 47 Liiga games over the last two seasons, putting up 17 points along the way.

To wrap up their third round, the Canes selected another defenseman in Domenick Fensore. Hailing from New York, Fensore – who is set to play for Boston University next season – put up 26 points (6g, 20a) in 25 USHL games for the US National Team, ranking second among team blue liners only to Cam York – who was taken 4th overall by the Flyers.

ROUND 4 - Cade Webber (99), Tuukka Tieksola (121)

The Canes started the fourth round on a similar note, continuing their run of defensemen with 18-year-old Cade Webber. The American-born blue liner is slated to play in the BCHL next season before joining Fensore at Boston University.

Carolina then kept its Finland connection going by taking Tuukka Tieksola, an 18-year-old forward who has come up through the junior rank in his home country with Karpat before debuting with their Liiga team last season.

ROUND 5 - Kirill Slepets (152)

The Canes took their second Russian of the draft with Kirill Slepets, a 20-year-old winger who was a part of that bronze-winning Russian team at the 2019 World Junior Championship alongside fellow Carolina draft pick Kochetkov. Slepets also debuted in the KHL last season for Lokomotiv and logged 10 games in Russia’s top league.

ROUND 6 - Kevin Wall (181), Blake Murray (183)

The Penn State-bound forward Kevin Wall, coming off a strong season in the BCHL that landed him spots on the league’s All-Rookie Team and First All-Star Team, was Carolina’s first selection of the sixth round, followed two picks later by Blake Murray, a 17-year-old forward who led the Sudbury Wolves in goals last season and has 94 points (51g, 43a) in 123 career OHL games.

ROUND 7 - Massimo Rizzo (216)

To wrap up their 2019 draft, the Canes selected BC-born forward Massimo Rizzo, who is slated to join the University of North Dakota next season.
Nicholas Niedzielski
Author: Nicholas NiedzielskiEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director of Communications Nicholas Niedzielski joined the Checkers in the summer of 2014. A Texas native, he previously worked for the AHL's Texas Stars.