After exercising their draft rights for all of the players drafted in the 2015 NHL draft class (not counting NCAA players Luke Stevens and David Cotton whose rights are still held by the Hurricanes), the Hurricanes did not sign two players from the 2016 draft class. The deadline to sign both Hudson Elynuik and Noah Carroll came and went on Friday making both subject to reentering the draft.
Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a look at both former Hurricanes’ prospects.
I had figured Hudson Elynuik to be signed simply because the potential of his big frame, potential and NHL blood lines to maintain his rights for three more years to see if he could grow into his potential.
Analysis of Elynuik is wide-ranging. Again, his 6 foot 5 inch frame combined with consecutive seasons north of a point per game seem to warrant at least a longer audition, so it will be interesting to see if the the 2018 NHL Draft yields clues as to whether he just did not make the cut or if perhaps he opted his his chance to get a change of scenery in terms of NHL rights.
Elynuik’s production makes the cut but has arguably been inflated from playing on a team with two other higher-end NHL prospects in Kailer Yamamoto (#22 overall in 2017) and Jarret Anderson-Dolan (#41 overall in 2017) who drove the offense in Spokane.
My assessment of Elynuik in prospect camp even returning for the second time was that he was still very raw. As such, he projected as a longer-term development project, and with a forward group that has been growing in size, Elynuik was more than a mid-tier prospect in a deep Canes pool. When one nets it out, Elynuik rates well for projectable size and WHL production but never really looked the part of a high-end prospect in game action.
As noted above, I will be curious to see if/where he is redrafted for the 2018 NHL draft and then read the tea leaves on whether the Hurricanes just passed or if Elynuik used his option to go elsewhere.
Noah Carroll was sort of the opposite of Hudson Elynuik in my assessments. Carroll never put up big numbers in Canadian juniors nor did he ever really find the higher gear necessary for a sixth-rounder to turn heads and win an entry-level contract. Carroll had a productive year in 2017-18 on a Sault Ste. Marie team that was dominant. As such, it is difficult to ferret out how much he had improved and made strides development-wise versus to what degree he just benefited from being on a phenomenal team. The fact that he was not signed to an entry-level contract despite the Hurricanes lack of prospect depth on defense would seemingly suggest that the team was not overly high on his development thus far.
From limited scouting personally at prospect camp and in the Traverse City tourney, I always rated Carroll higher than his sixth-round draft pedigree. He is mobile/skates fairly well and has the skill set of a puck mover which is a plus, but check ins with people who watched him over the course of full OHL seasons (compared to 5-6 games in the summer) never seemed to rate as high as I would hope.
Unlike Elynuik, Carroll seems less likely to earn an entry-level contract from here.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Were you surprised to see either prospect go unsigned?
2) Where (if at all) do you think Hudson Elynuik will go in the 2018 NHL Draft as other teams way his fairly high-end potential against his only modest development thus far?