On Wednesday, the 2017 NHL playoffs kick off with a bang with 5 games. For the eighth consecutive year those playoffs will not include the Carolina Hurricanes, but between draft pick order and former players, there are plenty of Hurricanes’ angles to follow in the post-season.
This article is part of a quick series of playoff-related articles at Canes and Coffee on Wednesday. Please also check out Jordan Futrell’s update on the Charlotte Checkers playoff chances heading into the final 3 games of the season. And hopefully sometimes Wednesday, we will also have an update on the Hurricanes prospects still active in the Canadian juniors playoffs.
2017 NHL draft picks
The Hurricanes have 5 draft picks from other teams for the upcoming 2017 NHL draft. Four of those draft picks come from teams playing in the 2017 NHL playoffs, so each of the picks will be in the latter half of the round. But where exactly the picks land depend on how the teams’ fare since the final draft order is determined by playoff results and record.
The picks that the Hurricanes own are:
2nd round: Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers.
3rd round: Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils (should be 35th pick).
5th round: Boston Bruins.
The playoffs offer a few good options for Canes-centric viewing. If you want sheer volume, try the Senators vs. Bruins series that features 4 former Hurricanes players. If you want the biggest sentimental story, I recommend pulling for Ron Hainsey who will make his playoff debut after playing 907 NHL regular season games. And if you want the biggest name former Hurricanes player, I think Eric Staal and his Minnesota Wild fit the bill. If you want to simply root for the best possible draft picks next season, you should be pulling for the Penguins, Rangers, Senators and Bruins to lose – in that order since the Pens and Rangers picks would be the most meaningful upgrades in the second round. I have not hunted down the television broadcast assignments, but you can also hitch you cart to listening to whatever games John Forslund calls.
Complete slate of former Hurricanes players in the NHL playoffs
(Someone holler if I missed anyone.)
Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers
Canadiens: Chris Terry (currently at AHL level).
Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins
As noted above, this series has the highest number (4) of former Canes players in the mix.
Senators: Viktor Stalberg.
Bruins: Riley Nash, John-Michael Liles, Anton Khudobin.
Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Capitals: Justin Williams.
Maple Leafs: None.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
If you can stomach rooting for a division rival, I think Ron Hainsey is a great player to adopt.
Penguins: Ron Hainsey, Matt Cullen.
Blue Jackets: Zac Dalpe. (Corrected per Cory Fogg: Zac Dalpe is actually with Columbus in the AHL, not Minnesota.)
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators
Predators: Coach Peter Laviolette.
Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues
For Hurricanes fans who stay checked in for the playoffs, I cannot see how watching how things go for Eric Staal is not of interest.
Wild: Eric Staal. (Corrected per Cory Fogg to remove Zac Dalpe (AHL) who is actually in the Columbus organization now.)
Blues: Ty Rattie (currently at AHL level).
Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames
Ducks: Patrick Eaves.
Flames: Kris Versteeg.
Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks
Oilers: Andrej Sekera.
Next year we root for our team in the playoffs!