James O'Brien

2015 NHL Draft - Top Prospect Availability

Hurricanes make Noah Hanifin the fifth pick


The Carolina Hurricanes could stand to improve in several areas, so it makes sense that they opted for a quality player in Noah Hanifin with the fifth overall pick.

Hanifin is a standout defenseman who just finished his freshman season with Boston College. He sports the sort of size and puck-moving skills that are virtually always sought after on the blueline, especially for a team that’s often struggled in that area.

Getting him with the fifth pick is a solid mini-steal, as some pegged him to be the third pick in 2015. During weaker years, Hanifin would have come into a draft with far more hype.

Also, here is a photo of him with a snake for no clear reason.

source: Getty Images
Getty Images

Want to know more about the defenseman? Check out this profile.

First draft mystery solved: Coyotes select Dylan Strome third overall

2015 NHL Combine

The first two picks of the 2015 NHL Draft went as everyone expected, but now it’s time for intrigue. The Arizona Coyotes selected forward Dylan Strome third overall.

Strome brings size, skill and good genes to the table. The New York Islanders grabbed his brother Ryan Strome with the fifth overall choice back in 2011. (The Stromes might have another nice prospect some day with Matt …)

Dylan Strome lined up with Connor McDavid in 2014-15, grabbing the OHL scoring title with 129 points in 68 games as a member of the Lake Erie Otters. The Coyotes missed out on one of the two biggest names in this draft, but for an offense-needy team like Arizona, Strome seems like a logical fit.

Get to know more about Strome here.

WATCH LIVE: First round of the 2015 NHL Draft

2015 NHL Draft - Top Prospect Availability

If the deluge of trades earlier on Friday really rank as “the calm before the storm,” then we’re in for a memorable night.

Either way, the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft will answer plenty of burning questions, even if Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are virtually assured to go first and second overall. Here are just a smattering of things that will clear up:

  • Who will go third?
  • Are the Bruins going to use the 13th, 14th and 15th picks or do they have more tricks up their sleeves?
  • Could we see the Blackhawks move back into the first round (and move some salary to do so)?
  • Will we see other big swaps? Who might slip down the ranks considering the bevy of talent available?

With salary cap constraints and rumors bubbling up, it should be a fascinating situation to watch, even if teams merely make their picks. You can watch it all transpire on NBCSN and stream it via NBC Sports Live Extra:


Datsyuk underwent ankle surgery on Friday

Pavel Datsyuk,
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Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland announced that Pavel Datsyuk underwent ankle surgery on Friday.

Bill Roose of the team’s website went into greater detail, revealing that the procedure was intended to repair ruptured tendons in his ankle. The 36-year-old suffered the injury while blocking a shot late in the 2014-15 season, according to Roose.

HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman pegs the recovery window at about four-to-six weeks, so it sounds like the veteran forward should be OK for training camp. Of course, setbacks can happen, and that recovery window is merely an estimate.

(For what it’s worth, the Detroit Free Press discusses the possibility of Datsyuk missing some of the regular season, so we shall see.)

Datsyuk has been a little more injury prone during the past two seasons, as he was limited to 63 regular season contests in 2014-15 and just 45 in 2013-14.

He’s been productive when healthy, although that has become a bigger “if” lately. Heightened injury issues aren’t that huge of a surprise considering Datsyuk’s age and the considerable mileage he’s put on his body.

Perhaps the rehab process may inspire him to get a little extra rest before heading into the 2015-16 campaign?

Trade: Busy Bruins send Lucic to Kings

Milan Lucic

The Boston Bruins continued a shockingly busy run of trades by sending Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings for the 13th pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, prospect Colin Miller and backup goalie Martin Jones.

Lucic confirmed that he’s been traded to PHT’s Dhiren Mahiban.

With that, the Bruins have traded away Lucic, Dougie Hamilton and Carl Soderberg in what appears to be a bold rebuilding project. Strangely, they’re loading up on draft picks in the teens, as they now hold picks 13-15.

Update: The situation might be more promising for the Kings if LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen is correct about Boston retaining $2.75 million of Lucic’s salary in 2015-16:

Lucic has already reacted to the news:

Lucic, 27, has one year remaining on a deal that carries a $6 million cap hit. According to ESPN’s Joe McDonald, Boston retained $2.7 million of that in the transaction. Lucic can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The jokes are piling in, although some aren’t at Boston’s expense this time around:

Like many Bruins fans, Marc Savard just seems sad about today:

And the Bruins may not be done dealing yet: