Canes pick two in the first round of the NHL Draft
Coming into the day, nobody knew what the Carolina Hurricanes would do. They had two picks in the first round, sitting at 13th and 21st overall. Some thought GM Ron Francis could move one of those picks as part of a deal for a proven forward, but the Hurricanes decided to stay put and made both selections. Ron Francis called Jake Bean’s name with the 13th pick, and Julien Gauthier’s with the 21st pick.
Jake Bean, a defenseman, is six feet tall, weighing in the range of 170 pounds. Bean scored 24 goals last season and put up 64 total points in 68 games played with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. This pick wasn’t a popular one among the Hurricanes fanbase, but I believe it was a good one. Bean now joins an impressive crop of defenders, joining Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Hadyn Fleury, and Roland McKeown among others. Ron Francis said that Bean is a guy who can quarterback our powerplay for many years. I think that it is now very possible that the Hurricanes move one of their young D-Men (such as Brett Pesce or Ryan Murphy) for offensive talent such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. While it would’ve been nice to grab a player like Kieffer Bellows, this selection gives the team more options than ever with the defensive corps. Bean is a left handed shot.
The Canes made a much more popular selection with the 21st pick, selecting 6'4, 230 pound forward Julien Gauthier. The ‘Canes needed skill and size up front coming into the draft, and they got both of that in Gauthier. While I have no idea how to pronounce his last name, I know he scored 41 goals in 54 games in the QMJHL this past season. Gauthier is obviously a big kid. He’s a goal scorer and he loves to go to the front of the net. And that is music to the fans in Raleigh. Gauthier also played for Canada at the 2016 World Juniors.
Obviously the fans wanted two forwards selected. But Ron Francis made two excellent selections. Just remember two things:
1. Ron Francis is GM and you are not.
2. Neither have played a game for the Canes. Don’t write them off just because they’re not who you wanted.
The Hurricanes’ next pick is tomorrow at 43rd overall, and the team has a total of seven picks remaining.