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Meet the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2024 NHL Draftees

Hurricanes

By AIDAN JENSEN

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The Carolina Hurricanes have shown the ability to pick well in the NHL Draft, with past selections including the likes of franchise greats Cam Ward, Eric Staal, Jaccob Slavin and Sebastian Aho.

Carolina has also shown the ability to win large amounts of games – without ever having to give up a lot or overspend on free agents. The Canes may not have league-altering superstars, but they have perfected the art of winning with a homegrown system.

This makes me wonder what Carolina could do if it spent big money on All-Stars, such as Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid or Sergei Bobrovsky, but those signings would require Carolina’s cap room to shrink drastically.

Going back to the NHL Draft, the Canes selected 10 players in this year’s NHL Draft, which occurred on Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 20. Carolina actually traded back out of the first round – so it could receive more draft picks. I don’t understand the idea of passing on possible first-round talent, but I’m also not a hockey GM.

Let’s take a brief look at the first NHL Draft Class under new Canes general manager Eric Tulsky.

Dominik Badinka (D) – Czech Republic, 34th overall (Round 2)

Carolina’s first selection in the 2024 NHL Draft was used on its favorite position – defense.

Badinka, chosen 34th overall in the second round, is a 6’3”, 185-lbs defenseman out of the Czech Republic.

Badinka’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but his game is. The 18-year old has played in both Sweden and Finland, including a stop in Sweden’s top hockey league last year.

“He’s 18 years old and playing in a hard league,” Canes assistant GM Darren Yorke said. “He has the ability to play fast and to really end plays off the rush. I think that’s something that when you look at the way the game is played and how we want to play, you’ve got to be able to play fast and play defensively. His length and his mobility that he’s able to play with against men, and the way he shuts it down is impressive. His puck-moving game, his transition, and his ability to play in the defensive zone and quickly get the puck up is something he excels at doing. I’m really excited to get that type of player.”

Nikita Artamonov (F) – Russia, 50th overall (Round 3)

The Canes went offense for their second selection, taking an underrated forward from an international country that boasts some of the NHL’s best stars today.

In 54 games with KHL (top Russian Hockey League) club Torpedo, Artamonov scored seven goals and dished out 16 assists.

From watching his highlight video on Carolina’s official website, Artamonov looks like a speedy forward who’ll be able to contribute in the NHL.

“He’s playing in a very good league and it’s very challenging to produce the way he did,” Yorke said in an article written by Walt Ruff on the Canes’ website. “You have this incredibly energy-driven player who can play a bunch of different styles. He can play a bunch of different styles. He can get in on the forecheck, he can go and make plays. Look at how we play and how aggressive we play, that’s a style that fits incredibly well. Then you add his skill level on top of it and it was great for us that we were able to pick up a talented player who also likes to play hard and fast.”

Noel Fransén (D) – Sweden, 69th overall (Round 3)

Back to defense for Carolina with its third choice in the 2024 NHL Draft, as it took Swedish defenseman Noel Fransén in the third round.

From his numbers alone, Fransén might be the Canes’ best selection and a steal of the draft. He nearly scored a point per game in 45 contests with Swedish Hockey League (SHL) club Färjestad last season, scoring 20 goals and dishing out 22 assists. Those numbers remind me a lot of Dougie Hamilton, the former Carolina fan favorite who is also an offensive-minded defenseman.

“He’s an incredibly offensively gifted player,” Yorke said. “He’s able to do almost whatever he wanted when he was playing in the Swedish junior league, whether it’s skate around guys, skate through guys, skate underneath them with the skill, or even score from the blue line. At the same point, he’s still able to defend.”

Alexander Siryatsky (D) – Russia, 124th overall (Round 4)

The Canes stayed on defense with their fourth pick in the NHL Draft, taking Russian defenseman Alexander Siryatsky. He scored five goals and dished out 14 assists with MHL (Russian) club Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk, but his 6’2” frame – at just 17 years old – is what really stood out to Carolina’s brass.

“The development that he had over the last 12 months is incredible,” Yorke said. “He came on playing in the MHL and then going on and playing through all the Russian leagues, he started to add more offensive elements to his game. He’s a guy who on the offensive zone blue line, he is able to create space, whether it’s with his mobility or with his hands. It’s not something you always see from younger defensemen who have to play against men. The higher-end offensive thinking that he’s shown has been great.”

Osker Vuollet (F) – Sweden, 133rd overall (Round 5)

Vuollet, the Swedish forward, might be the Canes’ best offensive selection of the NHL Draft.

He registered over a point per game with Swedish club Skellefteå last season, scoring 29 goals and dishing out 32 assists, in 41 games played.

“He’s an incredibly smart player,” Yorke said. “He’s been able to play fast offensively, whether it’s been skating with the puck, 1-on-1 skills, moving the puck, being able to move with the puck, playing a give-and-go game. Put him on the power play and he can run your half-wall and still be a dual threat. He’s a really high-end offensive player, who was able to do what he did at the junior level and show it against men, even if he didn’t have the same production.”

Justin Poirier (F) – Canada, 156th overall (Round 5)

Looking up north to the country where hockey was invented, Carolina took Canadian forward Justin Poirier with the 156th overall selection.

Poirier’s offensive skill set might top Vuollet’s, as he scored a whopping 51 goals – and dished out 31 assists – in 68 games played with Canadian QMJHL club Baie-Comeau. This distinction made him the first 17-year old to score 50 goals in the QMJHL since Sidney Crosby, the well-known NHL All-Star who will be a Hall-of-Famer when he retires.

“There are very few people who have scored as many goals as he had over the last two years in the CHL during their draft years,” Yorke said. “He was probably a little undervalued unfortunately because he’s not very tall, but all he does is score. It really doesn’t matter the games that he’s playing against bigger players, didn’t matter. He just scores. It’s an incredible shot. He’s able to find open space and he does not need much room.”

Timur Kol (D) – Russia, 168th overall (Round 6)

The Canes went for imposing size with their first sixth-round pick, taking Russian defenseman Timur Kol from Russian hockey club Omskie Yastreby.

Kol is a 6’4”, 205-lbs defenseman. As he grows, he’ll only add more onto his frame.

“He’s great defensively, similar to how we were describing Badinka,” Yorke said. “You have to be able to play fast, and defend fast, and being able to do that is what he’s done this season.  It’s pretty special.”

Romah Shokrin (D) – Russia, 184th overall (Round 6)

Carolina stuck with size – and defense – for its second sixth-round picking, choosing Russian defenseman Shokrin. His size will be something the Canes cherish, as that – combined with his hockey abilities – could prove to be dangerous at the NHL level.

“He’s an incredibly gifted skater,” Yorke said. He’s got great mobility.  Even though they have to play on the bigger ice he’s showed his ability to defend versus the rush.  He’s probably got a bit more offensive game to him [than Timur Kol].  We want him to use those edges and be able to open up space.  His ability to create has been pretty good.”

Fyodor Avramov (F) – Russia, 188th overall (Round 6)

The Canes chose a right-handed forward, a position it sorely lacks on its roster, with their 188th overall selection of the 2024 NHL Draft.

Avramov is another offensive gem, scoring 21 goals and distributing 21 assists, in 49 games with Russian hockey club Kapitan Stupino last season. He’s 6’3”, too, continuing Carolina’s trend of tall Russian players in the NHL Draft.

 “He can shoot,” Yorke said. He has a massive shot that he’s able to get off and to beat goalies from distance.  Then you put him in one-on-one space, he has those skills to make guys miss.  His size is really valuable.  We hope to develop the rest of his game, but from an offensive standpoint, his game is pretty high-end.”

Andrei Krutov (F) – Russia, 220nd overall (Round 7)

For its final selection in the 2024 NHL Draft, Carolina opted for Russian forward Andrei Krutov.

Like the Canes’ other offensive selections, Krutov is a scoring machine – 21 goals, 29 assists in 41 games last year – with Russian hockey club Chaika Nizhny Novgorod.

Yorke spoke highly of Carolina’s last selection, with the hopes he’ll progress to the NHL someday.

“A really high-quality offensive thinker,” Yorke said. It’s hard to say whether he’s a better shooter or a playmaker, but he’s able to see everything and make guys around him better.  He’s got to get a little quicker, but the value of how he sees the ice and the ability he has to make others around him better is probably his best asset.”

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