With much speculation surrounding the outcome of the Carolina Hurricanes’ No. 5 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, the ‘Canes kept the pick, selecting 18-year-old Swedish forward Elias Lindholm.
Listed at 6-feet, 192 lbs, Lindholm tallied 30 points, 11 goals and 19 assists, in 48 games for Brynas of the Swedish Hockey League.
“He’s one of those real puck pursuit guys with high skill level,” Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said. “The kind of guy you can win with.”
Top-rated prospect defenseman Seth Jones fell all the way to Nashville at No. 4, a very unexpected turn of events.
Rutherford said that if Jones had not been selected by Nashville, the team would have selected him with the No. 5 pick.
There is one complication surrounding Lindholm and his immediate future with the ‘Canes—the youngster signed a contract to play with Brynas. It’s believed that if he makes the roster in Raleigh, he’ll find a way to stay with the ‘Canes, but the option of playing in the American Hockey League with the Checkers is out of the question.
Hours prior to the draft, rumors spread around about the ‘Canes being in talks with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres, but nothing come from the alleged negotiations—the only major trade was between Vancouver and New Jersey. The Devils traded the No. 9 pick to the Canucks in exchange for goalie Cory Schneider.
According to Rutherford, multiple offers were made but were based around a forward and moving further back in the draft than the ‘Canes were comfortable with.
“There was nothing for a defenseman that they offered,” Rutherford said. “There were negotiations over the last couple of weeks with teams that thought they were going to offer defensemen, but at the end they didn’t.”
Rutherford added that the team will continue to pursue trades and look to add defenseman during free agency, which opens on Friday. He also said that internally, the team will look for defensemen Ryan Murphy and Brett Bellemore to possibly make the jump to the big club next season.
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