Right about when his college season was ending, word seemed to be on the street that defense prospect Adam Fox would not be signing with the Hurricanes. Initially, it was not clear how valid that speculation was, but today verified that it was in fact true.
In late March, I wrote in some detail about the Adam Fox situation. You can revisit that article HERE.
For Fox, the Hurricanes received a second-round draft pick in 2019 and also a conditional third-round draft pick in 2020 if Fox plays more than 30 games in 2019-20. I think the return was a good not great one considering that signing him did not seem to ever be an option. With the Rangers finishing near the bottom of the NHL, the pick is the 38th overall pick. Ideal would have been to collect full value and get a first-round pick in return, but knowing that he had to be traded, the Hurricanes lacked leverage.
Fox is a high-end prospect. Early in the season, he was considered a top 25 or 50 prospect. After a tremendous 2018-19 college season, he maybe boosted his ranking. So no doubt he is a high-end prospect. But when acquired, he was available because the Flames could not get him signed. And now that starting point has transitioned to New York, with the Canes unable to sign him and collecting what they can. So he came and left as a really high grade prospect but not necessarily one that the Hurricanes would be able to sign.
His game is a bit like Jake Bean’s as a cerebral offense-leaning defenseman. He can both score goals and create scoring chances with his playmaking, and he is a bit undersized not really a standout in terms of skating ability.
The Hurricanes blue line prospect pool
The trade leaves the Hurricanes a bit thin on the back end in terms of prospect. Jake Bean is having a solid first professional season in Charlotte and tracking toward becoming an NHLer. But past Bean, the Hurricanes are light on defense prospects. Roland McKeown probably rates second on the team’s blue line prospect pool. Past McKeown, the Hurricanes have only an interesting collection of late-round picks.
But the Hurricanes are deep on defense at the NHL level. The current group has Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce and Calvin de Haan signed for three years minimum. Justin Faulk and Trevor van Riemsdyk are signed through next season. And Dougie Hamilton has two years remaining on his current deal. Haydn Fleury has also proven to be serviceable at the NHL level. The result is that the Hurricanes are deep in terms of proven NHLers and maybe will not need a ton of prospects.
Evaluating the series of two deals
Despite the fact that the situation did not work out as desired, I generally like the way Don Waddell handled this situation. He was a high-end addition to the Dougie Hamilton trade. The Hurricanes seemed to do what they could do if they signed him. When that did not pan out, Waddell moved quickly to net a return for Fox. At the point where Fox says or implies that he will not sign with the Hurricanes, Waddell moved quickly. I generally like his assertiveness adding Fox and then later losing him. But the two draft picks add to the Hurricanes’ total, and give the Hurricanes extra picks for the next round of the playoffs.
What say you Canes fans?
1) When did you first expect that Adam Fox would not sign with the Hurricanes?
2) What are your thoughts on the return?
3) Do you have any other thoughts/opinions on the Adam Fox situation?