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."


Please to add a comment.

Newest First
View all
  • wlcat609 Jun 27, 2014

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Gwinnett Braves

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • PGA Golf: Quicken Loans National

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Gwinnett Braves

    Saturday at 6:30 pm on METV 50.2

  • PGA Golf: Quicken Loans National

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Gwinnett Braves

    Sunday at 5:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • PGA Tour Special: PGA Tour 2015: Playing with a Purpose

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA Golf: WGC – Bridgestone Invitational

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA Golf: WGC – Bridgestone Invitational

    Sunday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Gwinnett Braves

    Tomorrow at 6:50 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Gwinnett Braves

    Saturday at 6:20 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • MLB: Washington Nationals at NY Mets

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Washington Nationals at NY Mets

    Sunday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Womens British (LPGA)
1H. Kim-718
2tC. Kerr-618
2tL. Ko-618
4tQ. Baek-518
4tS. Ryu-518
6tK. Burnett-418
6tJ. Ko-418
6tT. Lu-418
6tM. Miyazato-418
6tA. Munoz-418
View Full Leaderboard
Paul Lawrie (EURO)
Leader in BOLD/CAPS
QUESNE v Lewis181 up
Hend v SINGH181 up
Kieffer v HOEY172 and 1
BROBERG v Finch172 and 1
RAMSAY v Kapur181 up
Carlsson v MOLINARI145 and 4
FITZPATRICK v Dredge146 and 4
UIHLEIN v Wilson182 up
WOOD v Kruger145 and 4
CAMPILLO v Daly182 up
Jacquelin v BENSON172 and 1
HAVRET v Horsey145 and 4
LEVY v Foster182 up
MADSEN v Quiros163 and 2
HATTON v Fichardt154 and 3
Rock v LUNDBERG173 and 1
Wall v DOAK181 up
Wattel v LAWRIE145 and 4
AIKEN v Jamieson163 and 2
DODT v Fisher191 up
CANIZARES v Bjerregaard127 and 6
Fraser v KARLSSON163 and 2
Bourdy v COLSAERTS172 and 1
FISHER, JR. v Olesen182 up
HOWELL v Brooks191 up
Pieters v DRYSDALE191 up
APHIBARNRAT v Ormsby191 up
Johnston v STORM181 up
MORRISON v Edberg172 and 1
CARLSSON v Crespi172 and 1
WARREN v Bland181 up
Aguilar v ZANOTTI181 up
View Full Leaderboard
Madeira Islands (EURO)
1A. Hortal-918
2N. Elvira-818
3tR. Fox-718
3tS. Gros-718
5tA. Hartoe-618
5tS. Henry-618
5tR. Kakko-618
5tS. Manley-618
5tP. Oriol-618
5tC. Paisley-618
View Full Leaderboard
ATP Scoreboard
Thursday, Jul. 30
BB&T Atlanta Open (ATP)
Second Round
(3) J. Sock66 3    
D. Kudla78 6    
(8) B. Becker5 3    
D. Sela7 6    
(6) S. Johnson4 2    
R. Berankis6 6    
(1) J. Isner77 79    
R. Stepanek63 67    
bet-at-home Open (ATP)
Second Round
(5) P. Cuevas6 4 6   
J. Janowicz3 6 2   
(4) A. Seppi4 6 6   
F. Mayer6 2 3   
(1) R. Nadal6 77    
J. Vesely4 62    
S. Bolelli6 65 6   
J. Munar1 77 4   
Suisse Open Gstaad (ATP)
Second Round
(7) P. Carreno Bu77 6    
R. Haase63 4    
(3) D. Thiem6 6    
F. Delbonis3 4    
(6) J. Sousa66 6 77   
D. Istomin78 3 64   
(1) D. Goffin6 6    
H. Zeballos1 1    
WTA Scoreboard
Thursday, Jul. 30
Brasil Tennis Cup (WTA)
(3) A. Beck6 6    
G. Ce3 3    
M. Torro-Flor64 4    
A. Sevastova77 6    
(4) T. Pereira6 7    
(7) L. Siegemund3 5    
(5) B. Mattek-San77 4 6   
T. Martincova62 6 1   
Baku Cup (WTA)
Second Round
O. Savchuk5 4    
P. Tig7 6    
E. Rodina6 6    
O. Korashvili1 1    
(7) V. Diatchenko4 65    
K. Flipkens6 77    
(2) K. Knapp6 6    
A. Kontaveit1 0