As of February 22nd, the Carolina Hurricanes are sitting in the 2nd wild card in the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes could possibly end their 9 year playoff drought (longest current drought in the NHL) if they earn a playoff berth.
Do you trade your first round pick?
This is a bit risky since if they don’t make the playoffs they will risk a chance of losing a great prospect. But, I think they should. Their general manager Don Waddell should be working the phones and looking to land a big name like Artemi Panarin, Mark Stone and/or Sergei Bobrovsky.
Goaltending and offense has been an issue for the Hurricanes. The team doesn’t have reliable goaltending. Right now, they are dependent on Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney. Their offense is weak too as they have a tremendous amount of depth. After their top line (Nino Niederreiter – Sebastian Aho – Justin Williams), there isn’t much depth. So, if the Hurricanes were to acquire one of those big names, they’d be making a sizable upgrade.
Carolina has the strongest defensive depth in the NHL. Their right-handed defensive depth is truly impressive. The Hurricanes right-handed defensive depth includes Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk, Brett Pesce and Trevor van Riemsdyk. They are all great players, but Carolina could afford to give on of them up.
For a while now, Justin Faulk has been rumored to be leaving Carolina. Trading Faulk and a pick for one of the three players mentioned above could be a good move for Carolina. Faulk has a decent amount of value as of right now. He’s been outstanding in Raleigh so far this season. After 61 games played, he’s posted 6 goals, 16 assists, a 54.1 corsi-for percentage and a 22:20 average time on ice. If Faulk can keep this up, he’d be a solid addition to another team’s blue-line.
Why they should trade?
The drought needs to be broken as soon as possible. They also need to resign their future superstar Sebastian Aho this season. Getting rid of Faulk’s 4.833 million contract could be a smart move. It would give the Hurricanes some more breathing room. Not only would the Hurricanes have plenty of space to sign Aho, but they would also be in a good shape to sign some talented free agents in the off-season.
Why shouldn’t they trade their first round pick?
As mentioned above, the first round pick could be quite valuable if they miss the playoffs. The 2019 draft class is looking pretty good. Based on needs, the Hurricanes would benefit from drafting a solid left winger like Pavel Dorofeyev or a potential number one goalie if they grabbed Spencer Knight.
All-in-all, there is risk to dealing their first round pick, but if it means that they can add someone like Mark Stone, then they should pull the trigger.
stats from hockey-reference.com, NHL.com
featured image photo credit – Josh Tessler