When the Carolina Hurricanes pick fifth overall on Sunday at the NHL Draft in Newark, it will mark the highest they will have selected in eight years.
In that 2005 draft, they took American defenseman Jack Johnson third overall but Johnson never played for the Canes, as general manager Jim Rutherford sent him to Los Angeles in a deal that brought defenseman Tim Gleason to Raleigh. Johnson has produced well offensively, but in eight NHL seasons, he has never finished a season as a plus player and has not evolved into the dominant No. 1 defenseman envisioned when a team picks a player so high.
Since then, the Canes have not had too many high first-round picks, but when they have they have generally gotten some good forwards out of the draft. They took Calder Trophy (rookie of the year)-winner Jeff Skinner seventh overall in 2010 and Brandon Sutter 11th overall in 07.
There also have been some misses, such as Zach Boychuk at No. 14 overall in 08. The Canes waived Boychuk last season...