‘CANES SELECT EIGHT PLAYERS ON SECOND DAY OF DRAFT
RALEIGH, NC – The Carolina Hurricanes completed their activity at the 2020 NHL Draft on Wednesday, selecting eight players in rounds 2-7. The eight draftees join center Seth Jarvis, whom the Hurricanes selected with the 13th overall pick in the first round on Tuesday.
With their first pick of the second round, 41st overall, the Hurricanes selected forward Noel Gunler. The 6’2”, 176-pound forward recorded 13 points (4g, 9a) in 45 games with Lulea of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) last season. Gunler ranked tied for sixth among SHL rookies in goals and points. The Lulea, Sweden, native earned 46 points (27g, 19a) in 31 games with Lulea’s junior team in 2018-19, ranking third in goals and seventh in points among all players in Sweden’s top junior league. Gunler was ranked ninth overall among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
With their second pick of the second round, 53rd overall, Carolina selected center Vasiliy Ponomarev. The 5’10”, 180-pound center registered 49 points (18g, 31a) in 57 games with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) last season. Ponomarev ranked fourth among QMJHL rookies in assists, fifth in points and tied for seventh in goals. Ponomarev scored a goal 6:03 into his QMJHL debut at Rouyn-Noranda (9/21/19), marking the third-fastest goal by a player in his first QMJHL game in Shawinigan history. The Moscow, Russia, native has represented his country at a number of international tournaments, including the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, where he led the team with eight points (4g, 4a) in six games as Russia captured the gold medal. Ponomarev also helped Russia earn gold at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. He was ranked 48th overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
The Hurricanes selected defenseman Alexander Nikishin with the 69th overall pick in the third round. The 6’3”, 196-pound defenseman tallied three assists in 29 games with HC Spartak Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) last season. Nikishin recorded his first KHL point with an assist in his second career KHL game vs. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (9/4/19). The Orel, Russia, native was ranked 24th overall among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Carolina selected forward Zion Nybeck with the 115th overall pick in the fourth round. The 5’8”, 182-pound forward scored one goal in 15 games with HV71 (SHL) last season and registered 66 points (27g, 39a) in 42 games with HV71’s junior team. He scored his first SHL goal in his 12th career game vs. IK Oskarshamn (3/5/20). Nybeck led Sweden’s top junior league (SuperElit) in points in 2019-20 and set the league record for assists and points by a player younger than 18 years old. He was also named Best Forward in Sweden’s Under-18 league in 2018-19. The Alvesta, Sweden, native recorded five points (2g, 3a) in seven games at the 2019 Under-18 World Championship, helping Sweden win the gold medal. Nybeck was ranked 29th overall among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
The Hurricanes traded the 140th overall pick to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for the 159th overall selection and the Kings’ seventh-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. With the 159th pick in the sixth round, the Hurricanes selected center Lucas Mercuri. The 6’3”, 191-pound center recorded 38 points (19g, 19a) in 28 games at Salisbury School (high school) in Connecticut last season and added an assist in three games with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League (USHL). Mercuri is committed to play at UMass-Amherst next season. The Montreal, Que., native was ranked 127th overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
With their first pick of the seventh round, 199th overall, Carolina selected forward Alexander Pashin. The 5’8”, 154-pound forward registered 39 points (17g, 22a) in 37 games with Salavat Yulaev Ufa’s junior team in Russia’s top junior league last season. Pashin scored two goals against Team Canada, including the game-winning goal, in the gold medal game of the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. The Priyutovo, Russia, native also recorded five points (2g, 3a) in six games at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge to help Russia win the gold medal. Pashin was ranked 22nd among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
With their final selection of the 2020 NHL Draft, the Hurricanes picked defenseman Ronan Seeley with the 208th overall selection in the seventh round. The 6’0”, 176-pound defenseman earned 32 points (3g, 29a) in 63 games with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League (WHL) last season. Seeley ranked second among team defensemen in assists and third in points and recorded a career-high four assists vs. Saskatoon (11/22/19). The Yellowknife, N.W.T., native was ranked 75th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
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