Elias Lindholm – 2013; First Round; Number 5
With Lindholm, the Hurricanes were making their safest bet at the draft. Lidholm was projected as the third best European behind Aleksander Barkov and Valeri Nichushkin. At the number five pick, the three best North American skaters, Nathan MacKinnon, Seth Jones and Jonathan Drouin as well as Barkov had all been selected and the Canes decided to keep their pick and selected Lindholm.
Scouting reports had touted Lindholm as a playmaker and strong skater but had questions on his size. The Hurricanes had actually been shopping the pick prior to the draft, looking to add a defenseman, but no deal had enticed current GM Jim Rutherford.
Lindholm would go on to play 374 games with the Canes over five seasons, registering 64 goals and 188 points before being traded at the 2018 draft along with 2015 first-round pick Noah Hanifin to Calgary for Adam Fox, Micheal Ferland and the true gem for Carolina, Dougie Hamilton.
Lindholm would put up 27 goals and 78 points in his first season with the Flames, a true sign of his stagnation in Carolina. Lindholm’s career highs in Raleigh were 17 goals (2014-15) and 45 points (2016-17) and was never able to transition into the number one or two center role primarily playing wing.