Hurricanes pick six on final day of NHL Draft
Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic and Josh Wesley, the son of former Hurricanes defenseman Glen Wesley, were among the six players selected Saturday by the Carolina Hurricanes on the second and final day of the 2014 NHL Draft.
“Talking with the scouts, everybody seems very pleased with the way the draft went for us,” new general manager Ron Francis said. “I think we added some size to our lineup, we have some guys who can skate. Like a lot of these things, you don’t really know what you have until you’re down the road a year or two, but at this point everybody seems very pleased.”
Nedeljkovic, the 37th overall pick, comes the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Nedeljkovic, 18, was named the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year in 2013-14, posting a 26-27-7 record while playing in 61 of Plymouth’s 68 regular-season games. The Parma, Ohio native faced more shots (2,207) than any other OHL goaltender, and his .925 save percentage ranked second in the league and his 2.88 goals-against average and 26 wins ranked eighth.
Nedeljkovic (6-0, 184) backstopped Team USA to the gold medal at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) U18 World Championship in Finland, posting a tournament-best 1.84 goals-against average in six games.
In the third round, the Hurricanes used the 67th overall pick on left wing Warren Foegele. Foegele, 18, led Saint Andrews (an Ontario high school) with 58 goals, 49 assists and 107 points in 52 games. The Markham, Ont., is committed to the University of New Hampshire for 2014-15.
Carolina held the 96th and 97th picks in the draft’s fourth round, and used the first of those to select former Junior Hurricanes defenseman Josh Wesley (6-2, 194) from the Plymouth Whalers (OHL). Wesley was born in Hartford, Conn., but raised in Raleigh.
The 18-year-old played his first season of major-junior hockey in 2013-14, scoring one goal, earning eight assists and accumulating 62 penalty minutes while playing in all 68 of Plymouth’s regular-season games. Wesley is the first North Carolina-trained player to be drafted into the NHL.
With their second fourth-round pick (97th overall), the Hurricanes selected Swedish centerman Lucas Wallmark, who played the majority of the 2013-14 season with Lulea of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), scoring three goals and earning seven assists in 41 games. Wallmark (6-0, 176) captured the silver medal with Team Sweden at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, ranking third on the team in scoring behind 2012 first-round (11th overall) draft pick Filip Forsberg and 2013 Hurricanes first-round (5th overall) draft pick Elias Lindholm.
In the fifth round, Carolina used the 127th overall pick on center Clark Bishop from Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The St. John’s, Newfoundland, native scored 14 goals and earned 19 assists in 56 games with the Screaming Eagles in 2013-14, his second season of major-junior hockey. Bishop (6-0, 183) was a teammate of Hurricanes 2014 first-round pick Haydn Fleury on Canada’s bronze-medal-winning 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship.
In the seventh and final round, the Hurricanes selected defenseman Kyle Jenkins with the 187th overall pick. The Brampton, Ont., native scored seven goals, earned 18 assists and posted a plus-6 plus/minus rating in 63 games for the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 2013-14, his first full season of major-junior hockey. Jenkins (6-0, 166) was paired with Carolina’s 2013 sixth-round (156th overall) selection Tyler Ganly for the majority of the season. Hurricanes prospect Sergey Tolchinsky also played for Sault Ste. Marie in 2013-14, and led all Greyhounds skaters in goals (31), assists (60) and points (93).
Carolina Hurricanes 2014 NHL Entry Draft Selections
Rd Pick # Name Ht. Wt. Pos. Team (League)
1 7 Haydn Fleury 6’2” 203 D Red Deer (WHL)
2 37 Alex Nedeljkovic 5’11” 190 G Plymouth (OHL)
3 67 Warren Foegele 6’0” 178 LW St. Andrews (CISAA)
4 96 Josh Wesley 6’2” 194 D Plymouth (OHL)
4 97 Lucas Wallmark 6’0” 176 C Lulea (SWE)
5 127 Clark Bishop 5’11” 182 C Cape Breton (QMJHL)
7 187 Kyle Jenkins 6’0” 166 D Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)