Jaccob Slavin – 2012; Fourth Round; Number 120
One of the Hurricanes most elite-defenseman, Slavin was a huge hit as a fourth-round pick. When he got a shot with the big club in the 2015-16 season, Slavin showed an elite talent for defensive positioning and awareness.
Leapfrogging nearly everyone in the depth charts after just a year, Slavin has asserted himself as the undisputed number one defenseman on the team. Every year since his rookie year, Slavin has collected votes for both the Lady Byng and Norris trophies as more and more people notice his talent, but he still remains one of the league’s most underrated players.
Slavin has a knack for allowing his partners freedom to pinch and join rushes as he is more than capable of covering, but has shown the talent himself to jump into the opposing zones as his offensive skills have developed, already with three game-winning goals this season. Carolina has Slavin signed until 2025 at a bit over $5 million a year and it just might be one of the best contracts in the NHL.
Justin Faulk – 2010; Second Round; Number 37
Faulk got a lot of flack for being the best defenseman on a lot of bad teams. Yeah, there were mistakes, turnovers and costly blunders, but Faulk wasn’t solely responsible for the struggles of the team.
For six straight seasons, Faulk was over a 30 point player and registered double digit goals four times. He also had one of the most memorable goals of the decade for the Canes, coming out of the penalty box in Game Three against the New York Islanders for a catch and drop breakaway goal.
Faulk was a three time All-Star representing the Hurricanes in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In the darker times of Hurricanes history, Faulk was another bright spot that gave many fans someone to admire. If you think otherwise, you are pretty much just wrong.
Frederik Anderson – 2010; Seventh Round; Number 187
To be fair, Anderson can also be considered one of the worst draft picks for the Hurricanes though it was only a seventh-round pick that was wasted. He is a prime case of an excellent selection by the Carolina Hurricanes despite where he ended up. The kicker is obviously he decided not to sign with the team after being drafted.
According to draft rules, “A player not signed by drafted team within two years can reenter draft, assuming they are still eligible.” When the Canes drafted Anderson in 2010, with the 187th pick overall in the seventh round, it was for the 18 year old Dutch goaltender who had been turning heads in the Swedish Elite League. However, what Anderson felt he was looking at with the Hurricanes was a jam with multiple goalies already in the pipeline.
Anderson re-entered the draft in 2012 and was selected in the third round by the Anaheim Ducks. He played for Anaheim for three years before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs where he still plays today. Anderson has put up great numbers every year and easily could have made the Carolina team and potentially turned its fates around much earlier.