banner
Hurricanes

Canes get defensive at the NHL Draft

Posted June 27, 2014
Updated June 28, 2014

Haydn Fleury

— The Hurricanes were looking to add size this offseason, and they did so on the blue line selecting Haydn Fleury of the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL Friday night in the NHL Entry Draft.

At 6’2.5” and 203 pounds, Fleury, the second-rated defenseman in the draft, is everything the Hurricanes organization talks about liking at the position.

General Manager Ron Francis was very clear on why Fleury was the pick. “When you are picking at 7, you have to take the guy that helps your organization move forward,” he said.

Francis also made it pretty clear why taking this player was right call for the organization.

"We think he is the type of defenseman you need for today’s game," Francis said.

Fleury did his best to capture the emotion of the pick. "This whole night has just been unreal," he said. "I don't think I've felt my feet for a while. It's been a great experience, and I'm trying to take it all in."

The question with drafting defensemen is always how quickly they be NHL-ready. Francis and Carolina's Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald both said there will be no rush to get Fleury to Raleigh.

“I think normally when you look at defenseman, they take a little longer to develop," Francis said. "We don’t want to rush him at this point.”

"I think he is probably a year or so away from being able to play, maybe even two," MacDonald said. "Sometimes it is amazing what a summer of dedicated conditioning can do. We don’t need to rush him."

Fleury will keep an open mind about how quick he can be an everyday NHL player.

"I'm going to work hard this summer and come into camp and make the best impression I can and try to make it hard on the team to send me back to junior," he said.

He did note that going back to Red Deer wouldn't be discouraging. "At the end of the day, if I get sent back, I'm going to go back and keep working hard and help my junior team win games," he said.

The Hurricanes selection said he was impressed with the team's front office. "They were just all professionals, and they all liked my game. If they have a lot of trust in me and high expectations for me, that's a good thing," Fleury said.

"They have a lot of trust in me, and to take me seventh overall it's a great honor, and I'm going to try to not let them down."

MacDonald detailed the skills that put Fleury at the top of the Canes' board. 

"This is not a draft that is laden with real top-end defensemen. He is a big kid who is an excellent skater. He can move the puck," he said. "The upside here is really unlimited. We think he is just scratching the surface."

Fleury will be at the team's prospect camp and will be playing for the Hurricanes at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., and will be given a look at training camp.

His point total from last season is more than respectable with 46 points 8 goals, 38 assists in 70 games, and he was a team leader with a plus-15 rating. He has represented Team Canada in international competition and was named the Best Defenseman at the Under-18 World Junior Championships.

It is the offensive side of Fleury's game that is the biggest question.

"Some people question my offensive game," Fleury admitted, "but I am learning more each and every day, trying to produce more offensively will help me get there (to the NHL) quicker."

Other notes on the Hurricanes top pick:

Francis compared him favorably to longtime NHL defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, and Fleury agreed with that assessment, saying his game is similar to Bouwmeester's.

In carrying on with the tradition of selecting high-character people, MacDonald said, "He’s the kid a lot of dads would be proud to call son."

Fleury will turn 18 on July 8.

Carolina has selected a defenseman with the first selection in two of the last four years. In 2011, the organization selected Ryan Murphy.

Former Flyer wins approval of Philly fans

Philadelphia, where the 2014 draft was held, is known for being a tough crowd. Commissioner Gary Bettman was booed without mercy all night.

There was one man who garnered the biggest cheer of the night, and it was not a current member of the Flyers or even their pick. It was Hurricanes assistant coach Rod Brind'Amour. Brind'Amour spent almost nine full seasons in Philadelphia and received a standing ovation from the partisan crowd.

Francis said he planned to have the Philly favorite make the selection all along.

"It was what we hoping for. He deserved that. We talked about this a month ago," Francis said. "I asked Roddy if he'd be willing to come to Philly with us, and I wanted him to make the selection."

Brind'Amour asked Francis if he was sure, "I said absolutely, it was great for him to be here."

4 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Jeanne Gunn Jun 28, 2014

    I'm hoping that in time Fleury's offensive game will catch up to his already evident defensive skill set. He's a good size, and still growing, and seems to have a great attitude and work ethic.

  • JPack Jun 28, 2014

    Being an instant gratification kinda guy, I was hoping for a more likely immediate impact guy. Getting off my high horse however, I see this kid really developing in a big way. Hope this pick turns out better than previous picks.

  • markmcnc Jun 28, 2014

    The one thing you can't coach is size. We now have some bigger body defensemen in the system. Let's hope Glen can work those guys into the types of guys that can handle the bigger forwards.

  • wlcat609 Jun 27, 2014

    Canadian website indicates that Fleury is still two years away from the NHL.

TV
  • Hoops Headquarters: Final Four Special

    Friday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBS Sports Spectacular: NCAA March Madness Confidential

    Sunday at 5:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship

    Monday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
WAS 4
CAR 2
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
DET
Final
TAM 8
BOS 11
Final
STL 2
MIA 3
Final
WAS 0
NYM 2
Final
MIN 3
NYY 1
Final
DET 3
PIT 7
Final
BAL 3
TAM 4
Final
TOR 10
PHI 6
Final
TEX 10
CHC 15
Final
LOS 1
CWS 2
Final
MIL 4
CIN 10
Final
SFG 4
COL 3
Final
CLE 8
SEA 6
Final
ANA 10
OAK 13
Final
ARI 8
TEX 7
Final
ATL 5
HOU 8
Final
SDP 1
KAN 4
1:05pm Today
PHI
ATL
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
HOU
DET
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
TOR
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
STL
 
3:05pm Today
OAK
ANA
 
3:05pm Today
KAN
LOS
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
ARI
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
MIL
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
SDP
 
4:10pm Today
COL
TEX
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
PIT
 
Final
DET 105
ATL 95
Final
BRK 111
IND 106
Final
MIA 81
SAN 95
Final
LAC 106
GSW 110
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
DET
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHI
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
SAN
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
BRK
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DAL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
DEN
10:00pm Tonight
POR
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
NOP
Final
TEMPL 57
MIAMI 60
Final
EVAN 79
TENNM 66
Final
NARZ 68
YALE 61
Final
ODU 60
STAN 67
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LOYC
Final
WAS 4
CAR 2
Final
BOS 3
FLA 2
Final
CLB 3
NJD 2
Final
DET 1
OTT 2
Final
TOR 3
TAM 1
Final
WIN 2
NYR 3
Final
NAS 4
VAN 5
7:30pm Tonight
BUF
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
PIT
PHI
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
EDM
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
COL