NHL Draft 2018: Carolina Hurricanes take Andrei Svechnikov with second overall pick

New Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell didn't deviate from the consensus with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, but that's probably OK considering it means his team now owns the top-ranked North American skater of this year's class.

Choosing Russian winger Andrei Svechnikov with the second selection in Friday night's first round, Waddell's Hurricanes may not have gotten the tantalizing blue-line talent of No. 1 pick Rasmus Dahlin, but they probably got the next best thing. The 18-year-old, who scored 40 goals in 44 games for the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts in 2017-18, is widely considered the best forward of all 2018 prospects, and his arrival sends an instant jolt of scoring talent into a Carolina lineup in desperate need of a refresh.

A star at the IIHF U-18 World Championship and named Rookie of the Year for his professional on-ice debut in the United States Hockey League, Svechnikov scored 29 goals in the USHL before ascending to the OHL, where he led all rookies in points despite missing months of action with both a hand injury and World Juniors commitment.

As CBS Sports' Pete Blackburn noted, "he's a dangerously skilled offensive threat, but he also plays a strong two-way game and -- at 6-foot-2 -- is a big body who can bring physicality and drive the net." In other words, Svechnikov, whose older brother, Evgeny, landed with the Detroit Red Wings as a 2015 first-round pick, is the most well-rounded forward you could find in this year's draft.

"He's a complete player," said Tony MacDonald, the Hurricanes' director of amateur scouting. "He can play the power game. He can play the finesse game. He's big and strong and has skill."

The Canes' official website echoed praise for Svechnikov, who may very well have gone No. 1 had Carolina drew that pick:

By all accounts, Svechnikov is the complete package. He's a constant scoring threat. He's lethal with the puck. He's big. He's strong. He's tough. He plays the game with speed. And he just turned 18 years old in late March.

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