June 23, 2012 8:12 AM
After trading away their first-round pick on Friday, the Hurricanes got full value from their nine picks on the draft's second day.
From Phillip Di Giuseppe in the second round to Brendan Collier in the seventh, the Checkers' NHL affiliate walked away with nine new prospects on Saturday, including five forwards, two defenseman and two goaltenders. Those players come from all corners of the hockey world, with some bound to begin or continue college careers, some on track to return to Canadian junior teams and one who will face a decision on whether or not to stay in Europe.
As expected, it is unlikely that any player from the group will begin next season with the Checkers, though there are a few potential options that are outlined below. As such, the organization will be looking to the free agency period beginning on July 1 to fill various holes in its lineup, most notably in goal, where John Muse is the only player under contract behind NHL veterans Cam Ward and Brian Boucher.
ROUND 2, 38TH OVERALL - LW PHILLIP DI GIUSEPPE, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
October birthdate allowed Di Giuseppe (6-0, 176) to play one year of college hockey prior to his draft - a rarity. That was also true of David Tanabe, the only Hurricanes pick to ever play for the team's AHL affiliate in his first year of draft eligibility, but Tanabe had the higher pedigree of a first-round pick.
Di Giuseppe has said that he will return for his sophomore year with the Wolverines, where he posted 26 points (11g, 15a) in 40 games as a freshman. Depending on how his season goes, he could be a candidate to turn pro the following season. Projected as a speedy two-way forward with a great shot, scouts liked his ability to claim a more prominent role on his team as the season progressed.
"When we were able to choose Phillip Di Giuseppe, he was a player that we, had we been picking late in the first round, he was right there and we would have taken him," Tony MacDonald, the Hurricanes' director of amateur scouting, told the media in Raleigh. "We were pleased with the way that worked out."
ROUND 2, 47TH OVERALL - C BROCK MCGINN, GUELPH (OHL)
In his second year with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League, McGinn posted 18 points (12g, 6a) in just 33 games as he suffered a broken hand mid-season that has since required two surgeries. As he's based out of the Canadian junior leagues and has a February birthday, he would not be eligible to start the season with the Checkers until the 2014-15 campaign. However, his somewhat slight stature (5-11, 174) makes it likely that he will need that time to develop regardless of eligbility rules.
McGinn's older brother, Jamie, plays for the San Jose Sharks, while another brother, Tye, was drafted by Philadelphia in 2010.
"He's got some bloodlines with the two brothers that preceded him into pro hockey," said MacDonald. "He's the smallest of the three at this point in time and he's going to get bigger and add some weight. He plays for (former Hurricane) Scott Walker in Guelph, and Scotty really loves this kid and we like him too.
"He missed a large chunk of the season due to injury, but he's a very gritty, tough, hard-nosed player with great hockey sense and a great feel for the game. He knows when to go in and make a big hit, he knows when to step in and try to ignite fire under his teammates. He's a leadership-type kid, and we're really excited about what he brings to the table."
ROUND 3, 69TH OVERALL - G DANIEL ALTSHULLER, OSHAWA (OHL)
In a move that may or may not be related to Mike Murphy's move to Russia and Frederik Andersen's decision to re-enter the draft, this is the highest the Hurricanes have drafted a goalie since choosing Justin Peters in the second round of the 2004 draft.
However, Altshuller (6-3, 191), will not provide an immediate AHL replacement for those two, as he is not eligible to play in the league until 2014-15. Another Hurricanes draft choice, Matt Mahalak of the Plymouth Whalers (sixth round in 2011), is likely closer to making that leap. Altshuller was 11-16-3 with a 3.55 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in his first season of major junior hockey.
"He's got tremendous upside," MacDonald told the Hurricanes' official website.
ROUND 4, 99TH OVERALL - C ERIK KARLSSON, FROLUNDA JR. (SWEDEN)
Swedish forward (no relation to the Ottawa Senators' All-Star defenseman by the same name) split the season between Frolunda's Jr. and U18 teams, playing the bulk of the season with the junior squad. In 47 games at the higher level, he scored 33 points (14g, 19a) while racking up a not-insignificant 70 penalty minutes.
Karlsson is eligible to play in the AHL next season, but it's a jump rarely seen from a fourth-round pick. The 6-0, 162-pound forward could stay in Sweden while possibly moving up to Frolunda's senior team, while another option would have him cross over to play Canadian juniors, following an example set by the Hurricanes' second-round pick in 2011, Victor Rask.
"We've been watching Erik Karlsson for a couple of years in Sweden," said MacDonald. "He's very quick, he's a great skater and is very tenacious. He's kind of a puck hound - he forces the play and makes things happen. He's always in the middle of the action and plays in traffic. He's not a real big guy but is going to fill out and get stronger.
"He plays the game the right way. He plays well on both ends of the ice, and he's a kid that is looking to maybe come to North America to play. He'll probably be chosen in the Canadian Hockey League draft, so we'll be able to watch him develop in North America and become acclimated to the North American style of game. When everyone gets a look at him, they'll be surprised at what he brings to the table."
ROUND 4, 115TH OVERALL - D TREVOR CARRICK, MISSISSAUGA (OHL)
The Hurricanes' first defensive pick of 2012 comes from Mississauga of the Ontario Hockey League, where he posted 19 points (6g, 13a) in 68 games in his rookie season. Known as a smooth skater with good hockey sense, the 6-foot-2, 172-pound Carrick posted 11 of his 19 points in the season's final 14 games.
As a Canadian junior player with a July birthdate, he is not eligible to start in the AHL until 2014-15. As Central Scouting's No. 45 North American skater, he was ranked more highly than McGinn, who the Canes chose in round two.
"He brings a physical dimension to the game as a puck moving-defenseman," said MacDonald. "He's also a devastating fighter, not that we drafted him for that purpose. We felt that this kid was a bit of an under-the-radar type guy, and as the first defenseman we drafted we were pleased we were able to get him (in the fourth round)."
ROUND 4, 120TH OVERALL - D JACCOB SLAVIN, CHICAGO (USHL)
American who posted 30 points (3g, 27a) with the USHL's Chicago Steel is scheduled to begin playing at Colorado College in 2013-14. Second defenseman chosen by Carolina (6-1, 160) joins fellow Colorado natives Drayson Bowman and Austin Levi in the Hurricanes organization. Checkers center Sean Dolan also played for the Steel prior to enrolling in college.
"He's a solid, steady guy who moves the puck and plays well on both ends of the ice," said MacDonald. "Consistency is one of his fortes. He's not an overly physical guy, but he's a very efficient defender. He's an angle-and-contain guy who handles the puck very well and doesn't make too many mistakes."
ROUND 5, 129TH OVERALL - LW BRENDAN WOODS, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
The latest in a string of older players who went undrafted in their first year(s) of eligibility taken by the Canes, Woods, 20, recently completed his freshman season at Wisconsin, where he scored 10 points (5g, 5a) in 34 games. Son of Bob Woods, a former assistant coach with the Washington Capitals, the junior Woods (6-3, 200), joins Jamie McBain and Sean Dolan as Badgers currently in the Hurricanes' organization.
The selection of Woods marks the fourth consecutive year in which the Hurricanes have taken a "late bloomer," as he joins Matt Kennedy (2009), Frederik Andersen (2010) and Brody Sutter (2011) as previously undrafted players taken in the later rounds. Eligible to play in Charlotte immediately, though he may not at this stage.
"He's a big, strong guy who missed a year of hockey with an injury," said MacDonald. "He's a big, strong guy who likes to go to the net. He's a gritty, tough, hard-nosed kid who understands the game very well. He's got great hockey sense, a great sense of timing and knows when to get involved physically to try to ignite his team and he knows when to back off and play it smart."
ROUND 6, 159TH OVERALL - G COLLIN OLSON - USA U-18 (USHL)
Along with third-round pick Daniel Altshuller, Olson is part of the Hurricanes' first two-goalie draft since the team selected Justin Peters and Magnus Akerlund in 2004. Has spent the past two seasons in the U.S. National Team Development Program, which counts former Checker Justin Faulk among its many notable alumni.
Olson backstopped 34 games in the program's USHL team this past season while posting a 2.50 goals-against average and .898 save percentage. He was also named Top Goaltender at the U-18 World Championship, where he captured the gold medal. A few notable NHL goalies have won the same award, including Ondrej Pavelec (2004-05), Jaroslav Halak (2002-03) and Kari Lehtonen (1999-2000).
Like Altshuller, Olson has great size at 6-foot-4 and 197 pounds. The Minnesota native will play at Ohio State next season, a program that also produced current Checker Zac Dalpe.
"We feel we've got two big goaltenders in the system who we're pretty excited about their upside and the learning curve that they're on," said MacDonald of this year's picks. "It's pretty nice to get a kid like Collin Olson in the sixth round. He was the best option at that point in time, even though we'd already drafted a goalie."
ROUND 7, 189TH OVERALL - LW BRENDAN COLLIER, MALDEN HIGH SCHOOL
The Hurricanes spent their final pick on Brendan Collier, a Massachusetts high school player who is slated to play for Boston University next season. As is typical of players drafted out of high school, Collier posted excellent numbers last season, scoring 64 points (26g, 38a) in just 25 games.
Collier, who is undersized at 5-foot-9 and 168 pounds, was Central Scouting's 143rd-ranked North American skater. He also ends a run on Americans, with the Hurricanes drafting domestic players with each of their last four picks.
"He's small, but he's a tremendously talented player," said MacDonald. "He competes like a bulldog, he's got good skill and he's a very productive player. He's going to BU, which is a program where players improve over time. They've got such a great track record of making people better, and a lot of the undersized guys that go there end up being impact players. We're very happy to get this guy where we did."