The Carolina Hurricanes entered the offseason with one of their highest draft picks in a long time. The 2013 Draft has also been said to have some of the best prospects from a draft in years. Jim Rutherford has said that he would entertain offers for their fifth overall pick if it involved a top four defenseman.
Making a trade like that would be an extreme risk for the franchise. While the team is undoubtedly weak defensively, trading this pick could be giving up a future all-star. Many have speculated that the Hurricanes would be in the position to draft Valeri Nichushkin. The young Russia has left scouts amazed with his skills and has even been compared to Evgeni Malkin.
If the Canes want to draft a center, they will probably get a shot at Darnell Nurse. The young defenseman has shown an advanced two-way game that the Hurricanes need from the back end. If he continues to grow, he will turn into a top four defenseman and maybe even a top two. If the Hurricanes trade the pick, they may miss picking a star defenseman for years to come.
Rutherford may have been aiming his words at the Phoenix Coyotes. There have been rumors they were asking about Keith Yandle. Yandle is an all-star defenseman and would definitely be a strong leader on the Canes. The Coyotes would probably ask for more than just the fifth pick though, and Hurricanes may not be able to give away what Phoenix wants. Rutherford took a chance last year trading their first overall pick along with other valuable assets for Jordan Staal. If the Hurricanes try to get a top defenseman now, they may just be sacrificing some of their future.