Hurricanes take 6 Russians among 10 second-day picks at NHL Draft

The Hurricanes selected defenseman Dominik Badinka with the 34th pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. (Cory Lavalette / North State Journal)

LAS VEGAS — It was a weekend of trades for the Carolina Hurricanes — just not the big, splashy ones many expected.

The Hurricanes and new GM Eric Tulsky jumped around the draft board throughout two days at Sphere in Las Vegas, making three draft pick trades during the weekend and accumulating extra selections.


The trading started at the end of Friday’s first round when Carolina sent pick No. 27 to the Chicago Blackhawks for a pair of second round selections, Nos. 34 and 50.

Armed with three selections in the second round, the Hurricanes sent the last of those, No. 60, to old GM Don Waddell and Columbus for picks No. 69 in Round 4 and No. 133 in the fifth.

Carolina then traded with Chicago again, dealing pick No. 90 for the Blackhawks’ third round pick in 2025. Since Chicago is still in a full-blown rebuild, that pick figures to be in the late 60s to early 70s next year.

“A lot of it is just the conversations ahead of time,” Darren Yorke, Hurricanes assistant general manager and head of amateur scouting, said of how the team decides when to move down in the draft. “We have a good idea of where our players could be selected and where other teams are picking and how many other picks they may have throughout the draft. So we’re having conversations to really make sure that we can maximize our draft chart as best we can.”

About those draft picks: The Hurricanes selected five defensemen and five forwards while using six picks on Russians.

“It really just depends on how the list goes,” Yorke said of selecting six Russians — Carolina used five of its 10 picks last year on Russians as well, “and the way it went this year, it ended up being a lot of players from Russia.”

Here’s a rundown of Carolina’s 10 draft picks on Saturday.

2 (34). Dominik Badinka, D

6-foot-3, 185 pounds
Malmo (SHL)
NSJ rank: 45

The right-handed Badinka established himself as a regular in the Swedish Hockey League last season, scoring a goal with three assists in 33 games with Malmo.

Badinka — whose big smile and flowing locks give him a resemblance to actor Timothee Chalamet — said he likes watching another big, right-handed blueliner.

“I’m a big fan of Brent Burns,” Badinka said minutes after he was drafted. The fresh-faced Badinka said, however, he’s not quite ready to grow a Burns-esque beard. “It’s not growing now,” he said with a laugh. “But maybe in 10 years.”

Badinka has proven to be adaptable, switching from forward to defense at 14 years old and playing in his home country of Czechia, Finland and Sweden over the last three years.

The Hurricanes were glad they were still able to get Badinka after trading down.

“We saw a situation where we made a bet, and it worked out great for us,” Yorke said. “So we were able to get Badinka and get some more ammo for later in the draft.”

Yorke said Badinka’s ability to shut down opponents and move the puck out of the defensive zone quickly meshes with Carolina’s style of play.

“Eighteen years old playing in a hard league and the ability to play fast and really end plays off the rush, I think that’s something that you look at how the game is playing and how we want to play,” Yorke said. “You’ve got to be able to play fast defensively.”

2 (50). Nikita Artamonov, LW

5-foot-11, 187 pounds
Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)
NSJ rank: 47

Artamonov seemed like the type of player who would wind up being selected by Carolina, and the Hurricanes were able to get him in the middle of Round 2 despite many grading him as a first-round talent. The highly skilled Russian played last season in the KHL and scored seven goals with 23 points as an 18-year-old.

“He’s playing in a very good league, and it’s very challenging to produce the way he did,” Yorke said. “So you have this incredibly energy-driven player that can play a bunch of different styles. He can get in on the forecheck, he can go and make plays.

“So look at how we play and how aggressive we play, and that’s the style that fits incredibly well. And then you add the skill level on top of it. So I think it’s great for us that we were able to pick up a talented player that also likes to play hard and fast.”

The Hurricanes selected defenseman Nolan Fransen in the third round of the 2024 NHL Draft. (Cory Lavalette / North State Journal)

3 (69). Noel Fransen, D

6 feet, 183 pounds
Farjestad Jr. (Swedish Jr.)
NSJ rank: 88

Carolina took its second defenseman of the draft by drafting Fransen out of Sweden. Fransen saw time in Sweden’s top league last year after leading the country’s junior league in goals and points by a defenseman.

“I want to bring offense to the D corps,” Fransen said after being drafted. “That’s mostly what I want to bring to Carolina. … Great team. It has a lot of star players. It will be tough to get onto the team, but I will do everything to play there one day and lift the Cup.”

He’s a teammate of Joel Nystrom, a defenseman Carolina took in the seventh round in 2021.

“(He’s) an incredibly offensively gifted player (who was) able to do almost what he wanted when he’s playing the Swedish junior league,” Yorke said.

The Hurricanes selected defenseman Alexander Siryatsky in the fourth round of the 2024 NHL Draft. (Cory Lavalette / North State Journal)

4 (124). Alexander Siryatsky, D

6-foot-2, 159 pounds
Magnitogorsk Jr. (MHL)
NSJ rank: Not ranked

Siryatsky has some weight to put on, but the Russian defenseman blossomed in his draft season.

Yorke said, “The development that he had over the last 12 months is incredible. … The higher-end offensive thinking that he showed has been great.”

Siryatsky had five goals and 19 points in 36 games in the MHL and played three games with the KHL squad last season.

“He was just excited he could be drafted,” Hurricanes scout Oleg Smirnov said while translating for Siryatsky. “He was waiting for this.”

5 (133). Oskar Vuollet, LW

5-foot-11, 173 pounds
Skelleftea Jr. (Swedish Jr.)
NSJ rank: Not ranked

Vuollet, one of the older first-year-eligible players in this year’s draft, led his junior team in scoring with 29 goals — thanks to a lethal shot — and 61 points, and he also saw time in Sweden’s top league.

“For two years in a row, all he’s done is been able to produce at the junior level,” Yorke said. “And then he gets called up for 15 games toward the end of the year and plays the exact same game against men. … A really high-end offensive player.”

The Hurricanes selected forward Justin Poirier in the fifth round of the 2024 NHL Draft. (Cory Lavalette / North State Journal)

5 (156). Justin Poirier, RW

5-foot-8, 185 pounds
Baie Comeau (QMJHL)
NSJ rank: 65

Poirier was one of the more intriguing players in the draft: A diminutive scorer who became the first 17-year-old since Sidney Crosby to score 50 goals in the Q.

Poirier still slid to the end of the fifth round, but he plans to prove people wrong.

“It’s my first motivation,” he said. “Since I was young, my size — I’m not the biggest boy, but I play big. So I’m going to try to prove them wrong, prove the other teams wrong and be happy to be here with Carolina.”

Poirier’s brother, Jeremie, is a defensive prospect with the Flames and has gone from third round pick to being close to reaching the NHL.

Justin, meanwhile, has all the skills — The Athletic’s Corey Pronman says he has the fourth-best shot in the draft and top-20 puck skills — to one day do the same if he can overcome his size.

“There are very few people that have scored as many goals as he had over the last two years in the CHL during the draft year,” Yorke said. “So (he’s) probably a little undervalued because, unfortunately, he’s just he’s not very tall. But all he does is score.”

6 (168). Timur Kol, D

6-foot-4, 204 pounds
Omsk Jr. (MHL)
NSJ rank: 95

Yorke said Kol — who is already built like an NHL defenseman — has similar attributes to Badinka.

“You’ve got to be able to play fast, you’ve got to be able to defend fast,” Yorke said. “And being able to do what he did this season has been pretty special.”

Kol climbed from his team’s junior squad to Russia’s second tier and even saw a pair of games in the KHL.

He said he likes to pattern his game in the offensive zone after current Hurricanes blueliner Dmitry Orlov while trying to play like Victor Hedman in the defensive zone. He was also familiar with the Hurricanes’ recent history.

“I know that this club loves Russian players,” he added.

6 (184). Roman Shokhrin, D

6-foot-5, 205 pounds
Yaroslavl (MHL)
NSJ rank: Not ranked

Shokhrin, like Timur, is another long defenseman with NHL size.

“He’s an incredibly gifted skater, the mobility,” Yorke said. “So even though they’ve got to play on the bigger ice, he was showing the ability to defend versus the rush. He has probably got a little bit more offensive game to him.”

6 (188). Fyodor Avramov, LW

6-foot-3, 190 pounds
Stupino (MHL)
NSJ rank: Not ranked

Avramov is one of the bigger forwards Carolina has drafted in recent years, but his biggest asset is his shot.

“Yeah, he can shoot,” Yorke said. “He has a massive shot that he’s able to get off and beat goalies clean from distance. And then put him in one-on-one space, to have those skills and be able to make guys miss at his size is really valuable.”

7 (220). Andrey Krutov, LW

5-foot-11, 174 pounds
Nizhny Novgorod (MHL)

Krutov isn’t as big but thinks the game at a high level while being able to be a scorer and distributor in the offensive zone.

“It’s hard to really say whether he’s a better shooter or a better playmaker, but he’s able to see everything, make guys around him better,” Yorke said. “He’s got to get a little bit quicker. But really the value of how he sees the ice and the ability to make others around him better is probably his best asset.”