Philip Botti The Hockey Writers
Bring Marner to Raleigh
The Carolina Hurricanes will select 5th in this season NHL draft. They will miss Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, but a great player still might drop to them. The ‘Canes will have options at the 5th pick but management needs to pick forward prospect Mitch Marner if he is still available. At the 5th pick they cannot pass up on a player compared to Patrick Kane. The ‘Canes have talked about possibly moving down in the draft if a deal is in place. Should the ‘Canes think twice about trading that pick if Marner is still available?
What Marner Did in the OHL This Season
Mitch Marner played this season with the London Knights in the OHL. He put up an impressive 126-points (44-goals and 82-assists) and finished second in scoring behind Dylan Strome and in front of Connor McDavid. He scored 9-goals and added 7-assists in the playoffs for the Knights. He makes the right plays and has a high hockey IQ with and without the puck. The ‘Canes need to add talent everywhere and Marner could add tons of skill to the talent pool in Raleigh.
RT to congratulate Mitch Marner on being named the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week! #LK http://t.co/pz5qV5Cjbq pic.twitter.com/B6vqVLvlv6
— London Knights (@GoLondonKnights) April 6, 2015
The ‘Canes Have Strength at Center
The ‘Canes are talented down the middle with veterans and growing talent. Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Elias Lindholm, and Victor Rask have all proved that they can play center in the NHL. The ‘Canes can play Marner at wing which gives them a speedy winger to go with their depth at center. Couple that with Jeff Skinner and Alexander Semin returning to form and the ‘Canes shouldn’t struggle to score goals anymore. If the ‘Canes decide to split up Eric Staal and Jordan Staal on different lines they will have a multitude of wingers to pair with the talented brothers.
Don’t Skip Out on Talent
If Marner drops to the ‘Canes, they can’t miss out on his talent. He killed it this season in the OHL and is known as a “magician with the puck”. There are no promises in the draft. Multiple mock draft sites are putting Marner at the 5th pick with the ‘Canes. I think that Marner would be great for the ‘Canes and when he makes the NHL roster can immediately give the ‘Canes another quick scoring threat. My fellow THW writer Jonathan Gardner suggested the Lawson Crouse as the ‘Canes pick. It would be heartbreaking if Marner is on the board and the ‘Canes pass on him. Getting compared to Patrick Kane is no joke, and throwing a player like that into will help change your team’s future. Yeah, the ‘Canes want to get bigger and more physical, but they also had trouble scoring goals.
The Ideal and non-complicated 2015 NHL Draft …. 1EDM McDavid 2BUF Eichel 3ARI Hanifin 4TOR Strome 5CAR Marner 6NJ Barzal — Brendan Ross (@RossyYoungblood) April 21, 2015
Jeff Skinner has been a great goal scorer for the ‘Canes in past seasons but last season was uninspiring. What if Jeff Skinner does not return to form next season? Skinner and Marner are both smaller players who use speed and skill to score goals. Having both on the same team would be great, but if Skinner can’t find his scoring touch again, Marner would be the perfect replacement. The ‘Canes hit on Skinner years ago, and could get the opportunity to hit on Marner. If Marner is on the board the ‘Canes have to select him. He won’t be with the big club right away, but he will help the ‘Canes down the line. Again, the argument for Marner is gone if the ‘Canes move out of the 5th pick. If there is no deal worth moving down, I think picking Marner would be a great choice for the ‘Canes.
Looking to draft, Francis again said Canes might “slide down a bit” in 1st round if right deal was on table. Unlikely to try and move up.
— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) April 30, 2015
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