The Carolina Hurricanes have the 13th-overall pick in this year’s draft and will have an opportunity to continue adding to their young team. Leading up to the draft, I’ve been looking at several players who the Hurricanes could select with their first-round pick.
The players chosen were be based on who I’ve seen ranked at or near 13th overall by different projections. Each article has had a theme: I already did one article of players that could be a steal at 13th overall and two articles on potential targets, and today’s article will look at which players the Hurricanes should avoid selecting.
I’m also going off the assumption that the following 10 players will be off the board by the time it’s Carolina’s turn to pick: Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield, Tim Stutzle, Cole Perfetti, Marco Rossi, Jamie Drysdale, Alexander Holtz, Lucas Raymond, Jake Sanderson and Jack Quinn. If any of them are available, the Hurricanes should have any easy pick, however, it’s unlikely.
Guhle is a left-handed defenseman who stands at 6-foot-3 and played his second WHL season with the Prince Albert Raiders this past year. He scored 11 goals and 40 points in 64 games and is ranked by most as the second-best left-handed defenseman in the draft, behind only Jake Sanderson.
He’s been ranked by multiple analysts/outlets to go as early as 14th overall and while Guhle may be a promising prospect, Carolina should avoid going after him.
Simply put, the Hurricanes just don’t need to use a quality pick on another left-handed defenseman. With Jaccob Slavin, Brady Skjei, Haydn Fleury and Jake Bean as relatively young defenders who are all likely to be on the roster next season, the left side of the defense group isn’t where the Hurricanes need to focus their efforts.
Lapierre is very good at leading a rush and skating with the puck, and also has good playmaking abilities. He can play minutes on the power play and can always find open teammates in a good spot. He's been ranked to go in the top-15 by a few analysts/outlets, meaning he could be an option for Carolina.
His production, however, raises some flags. He had just 15 goals (and 62 points) in 67 QMJHL games through his first two seasons in the league and more specifically, two goals in 19 games in 2019-20, meaning you probably shouldn’t expect him to score much in the NHL. The Hurricanes could use a goal-scorer in the top-six and Lapierre wouldn't really fill that need.
Personally, I just don’t see him being as strong of a fit with the Hurricanes as a lot of other forwards projected to go in that range. He’d be a good pick around 20th overall, but to me, there’s no guarantee that he becomes a top-six forward and there will just be too many other strong forward prospects still available at that point, likely including Dawson Mercer and Seth Jarvis.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Would you like to see the Hurricanes pick either Kaiden Guhle or Hendrix Lapierre?