Friday, 28 June 2013
Hurricanes 2013 NHL Draft Preview
Dreams will come true for hundreds of junior hockey players this weekend as the National Hockey League holds its 2013 Draft. The Lethbridge Hurricanes have seven players on their 2012-2013 roster who are in their draft year and three of them were listed in Central Scouting’s Final Draft rankings that were released back in April.
Three of the Hurricanes draft eligible players are Forwards while the remaining four are defensemen: Jamal Watson, Axel Blomqvist, Craig Leverton, Adam Henry, Macoy Erkamps, Lenny Hackman and Joel Topping.
Jamal Watson is ranked 137th among North American skaters (up 45 spots from the mid-term rankings.) The 18-year old Calgarian played in all 72 games this season for the Hurricanes and finished with 38 points (20G, 18A) which was 5th in team scoring. He also had a +3 plus/minus rating and 36 PIM’s.
Axel Blomqvist was on the preliminary watch list and landed 163rd overall among North American skaters, up 22 spots from the mid-term rankings. The 6’5 rookie from Osby, Sweden missed the final three weeks of the season due to a lower back injury, but in 59 games he still finished 16th overall in WHL rookie scoring with 33 points (7G, 26A) and a -3 plus/minus rating.
Adam Henry was also on the preliminary watch list, but missed the first half of the season while recovering from a heart condition. The 18-year old from Winnipeg, MB returned to the lineup on December 28th and finished with 14 points in 32 games to be ranked 165th among North American skaters, which is a jump of 48 spots from the mid-term rankings.
The draft eligible forwards are capped off by Craig Leverton. The 18-year old from Debden, SK played 61 games for the Canes this past season and finished with 17 points. In his rookie season with the Canes Leverton tallied 12 points in 42 games.
The remaining players all had exceptional years on the blueline, especially as the team ended up shorthanded due to injuries to a couple of key veterans. At 5’11 and 193 lbs., Macoy Erkamps finished as the top scoring defenceman on the Hurricanes this season (6th overall in team scoring) with 35 points (5G, 30A) in 72 games. The Delta, BC native was a minus-5 +/minus rating and added 65 PIM’s. His second year in the league was another breakout after his rookie season in which he had 20 points in 63 games.
Joel Topping ended his rookie campaign with 13 points (1G, 12A) for the Hurricanes. The 18-year old from Red Deer also had 35 PIM’s while playing in all but 9 games this season. Lenny Hackman joins Topping as the other rookie d-man to be draft eligible this year. Paired alongside veteran Dan Johnston, Hackman was also steady on the backend playing in all 72 games where he finished with a +3 plus/minus rating as well 8 points (1G, 7A.)
There has been plenty of debate regarding the top-three North American skaters, Central Scouting listed Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones remained number one overall followed by Halifax Mooseheads teammates Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin.
The 2013 NHL Draft (all seven rounds) will be held on Sunday, June 30th from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. with live television coverage starting at 3:00pm EST on TSN.
(From Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)