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)



  1. No Hurricanes, not even the ones ranked were selected in the draft. Once again proves that these players were not developed enough (not at all) to catch the eye of any NHL team. Sad state of affairs, but with the change of coaching staff of which Drake is considered to be an excellent teacher and the experience of Brad Lukowich on the back end, things could only get better.

    Merkely over Klimchuk? Whose idea was that?

    Dump'n Chase

  2. Dump; I don't think it's so much that they took Merkley over Klimchuk as it was the Canes' poor development of him. Preston just wasn't the right guy for developing young talent.

    But, as you say, the new regime will hopefully put an end to that. Having two former defencemen as coaches should help guys like Topping and Pilon tremendously, not to mention Erkamps (who I thought took a step backward) and Adam Henry. Heck, ALL the defenceman should benefit!!

    Poke Check

  3. Disappointing that the Canes where once again shut out of the draft but I think this will be the last year for a while. Next year I expect that both Pilon and Duke will go....We do have two Canes going to NHL camps next week and in the fall, Johnston and Rimmer and I suspect both will do well. Good luck boys!

  4. Sam....I don't think Pilon is available for the NHL Draft until 20l5. I would have to check that to make sure, but I'm pretty sure I read and heard that more than once.

    Poke Check