Although the Carolina Hurricanes’ season was extremely disappointing, they do get the advantage of getting the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. The Hurricanes would have a number of choices in a draft that is expected to be one of the deepest in years. Valeri Nichushkin looks to be the highest-skilled player that the Hurricanes would be able to draft at the number-five spot. The problem was he had signed a deal to play in Russia for the next two years.
The Hurricanes are looking at a difficult choice come draft day, and one that could impact their team for years. This week, it was announced that Nichushkin will be playing in North America this season. Apparently, he was able to remove his contract with the KHL and will have the chance to jump right into the NHL if he is good enough.
Nichushkin looks like the perfect fit for the Canes who could really use a skilled winger to provide scoring. This season, the team had to rely heavily on their top line of Eric Staal, Jiri Tlusty and Alexander Semin. Nichushkin already has the size to play in the NHL, and some have even compared him to great players like Evgeni Malkin. Information has been leaked that Carolina and the Tampa Bay Lightning have already expressed interest in him.
The Canes would love to draft the skilled Russian, but now may not get the chance because many scouts say he is one of the most skilled players in the draft. Now that the threat of him going to Russia looks to be gone, some of the teams with picks before the Hurricanes might take him instead. Overall, the announcement will be good for the Hurricanes because if he is picked early, they will still get a chance to grab one of the prior top four that have all been given high praise.