Here is a list of the Hurricanes’ 2021 NHL Draft selections, in order of selection, with comment from Canes’ Assistant GM Darren Yorke.
Each pick is listed with the pick position, position, player name, height and weight.
No. 40 — D Scott Morrow, 6-2, 195
Morrow played this past season at Shattuck-St. Mary’s Prep and with Fargo in the USHL and has committed to UMass. A right-shot D-man, he is quick to jump into the rush.
Yorke: “Real high offensive upside. One of the hardest, coveted positions to get is that big, offensive right-hand defenseman.”
No. 44 — D Aleksi Heimosalmi, 5-11, 170
The Finnish defenseman, while not a big guy, is another right-shot D who some believe was the best defender at last year’s U-18 World Championships.
Yorke: “Another similar offensive type of defenseman. For a 5-11 defenseman, the ability to gap up and play strong defense against the rush and along the boards ... it’s his smartness and how he uses his body to win battles.”
No. 51 — F Ville Koivunen, 6-0, 168
The Finn had 23 goals and 26 assists in 38 games Karpat junior team in 2020-21. Yorke said Karpat general manager Harri Aho, the father of the Canes’ Sebastian Aho, “raved about his character.”
Yorke: “As high a compete as anyone probably in the draft. Probably one of the smarter wingers in this draft.”
No. 83 — G Patrik Hamrla, 6-3, 194
The Czech Republic native played in the Czech Extraliga in 2020-21, has good athleticism and isn’t bashful in leaving the net to handle the puck.
Yorke: “Big athletic goalie. Going to the QMJHL next season. His power to go side to side is something you can’t teach, especially at his size.”
No. 94 — D Aidan Hreschuk, 5-11, 188.
The Long Beach, Calif., native is with the US National Team Development Program and was alternate captain for Team USA in U18 World Championship. Headed to Boston College.
Yorke: “Smart, smart hockey player, one of the smarter players here for the US team in how he defends. His ability to end plays in the neutral zone and that quick transition the puck is something that really gravitate to us with him.”
No. 109 — F Jackson Blake, 5-10, 158.
Short but said to be a quick, shifty player and goal-scorer, Blake had a big season for Eden Prairie High in Minnesota and also played for the Chicago Steel in the USHL. His father, Jason, is a former NHL forward.
Yorke: “One of the common themes we talk about is the hockey sense. Jackson is incredibly smart. His 5-on-5 play is what really impressed us.”
No. 136 — F Robert Orr, 5-11, 176.
Name has a nice hockey ring to it. Orr, one of the youngest players in the draft, had a strong rookie season for the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL and was often on the top line.
Yorke: “Uses his speed and is incredibly fast that can drive the game from the defensive zone to the offensive zone and still be able to make those one-on-one plays.”
No. 147 — F Justin Robidas, 5-8, 173.
Like Jackson Blake, Robidas’ father was an NHL veteran: defenseman Stephane Robidas. What Justin lacks in size he makes up for in his competitiveness, quickness and on-ice savvy, scouts say.
Yorke: “Very similar to Blake as how they play the game and see the game. Incredibly competitive. Obviously has the background with his dad to understand what it takes to be a pro.”
No. 170 — D Bryce Montgomery, 6-4, 215.
Montgomery, from Bowie, Md., already has a man-size frame and impressed in hockey showcase events and invitational outings that allowed OHL players to be seen by NHL scouts during the pandemic.
Yorke: “Big right-handed defenseman who can skate. Hard to find and especially guys as big as him who can skate as well.”
No. 187 — G Nikita Quapp, 6-3, 187
The German-born goalie, who has the size NHL team covet, had some inconsistent play last season with several teams. Quapp was a member of Germany’s U18 World Junior team.
Yorke: “An 18-year-old who played in the men’s league. Big blocking style. Guy who just has this raw ability to be in the right spot and make some of the tougher saves look easy.”
No. 200 — G Yegor Naumov, 6-3, 198
The Russian goalie can cover the net with his big frame. Played junior hockey last season for MHK Krylia Sovetov Muskva in the MHL.
Yorke: “Another guy that our goalie coaches really pushed hard on. Very athletic, very quick. He reads the game so well.”
No. 209 — F Nikita Guslistov, 5-10, 178.
The Russian forward is said to be the youngest player to score a KHL hat trick. On Jan. 27, he also became the youngest to captain a KHL team for a game, with Severstal. (Vladimir Taransenko had been the youngest.)
Yorke: “Was a point-a-game player in the MHL and was called up to the KHL. For a 19-year-old kid to start as a fourth-line center and then get to third line, just overall he’s just a smart, dependable player.”
No. 219 — D Joel Nystrom, 5-11. 170
The Swede was ranked 48th among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting and has good quickness. Got in 27 games for Farjestad in the SHL.
Yorke: “A late developer. Went through the draft already once. Probably one of the quicker, faster developing players this year, getting to the SHL and playing significant minutes.”