Snap Shot: Canes first rounder Haydn Fleury
Posted June 28
It might take a season before we can judge Haydn Fleury as an NHL player. The seventh overall selection will not be 18 until July 8, and he might not be on the NHL roster until 2015.
Looking at the makeup of the top teams in the NHL, the pick of the big defenseman made a lot of sense.
What to like about the Hurricanes pick:
First off is his size.
Fleury is almost 6-foot-3 and over 200 pounds, and still growing. The Hurricanes needed to add some bulk on the blue line and Fleury does that.
His skating and puck-moving ability have people thinking he will be closer to the NHL than having to toil away in junior and the AHL before he is ready to play. General Manager Ron Francis loved his hockey sense, and chief of amateur scouting Tony MacDonald raved about his maturity and character. That all leads to a player that does not panic with the puck.
This also leads to a look down the road, when the team could have a tremendous top defensive pair with Fleury and Justin Faulk.
Fleury does not have a lot of offensive polish. While he is capable of putting up points, the early thought is he will not be a power-play contributor. Carolina also needs size up front, players that can put the puck in the net, forward depth in the organization, and the Canes passed on a few wingers that might have been more NHL ready than Fleury.
Overall, the Hurricanes need to solidify the defense, which is easier said than done in this league.
If you can grab a player that helps your team get better in its own end when that has been a consistent area of need, it is a pick the team has to make.
If Haydn Fleury turns into the player he has been compared to in Jay Bouwmeester, the Hurricanes will be happy.