Most teams jealously guard their scouting report before the NHL Entry Draft like it's the last surviving copy of the Constitution, and the Hurricanes are no different. It's strictly classified.
But general manager Jim Rutherford has mandated that the Canes come out of the draft this week with some size — albeit not necessarily in the first round, when teams religiously "take the best player available." But if size and talent are available at No. 27, when the Canes pick, Rutherford wants it.
Given that parameter, today, the first of the Canes' first-round possibilities:
Carter Ashton, RW, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
Ht: 6-3 Wgt: 205 Age: 18
Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
The skinny: Ashton is the 11th-rated North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting rankings and may not be available when the Canes' pick comes around. The power forward played at Lethbridge with Carolina's No. 1 pick last year, Zach Boychuk, and scored a team-high 30 goals for the Hurricanes last season. He skates well, has good strength, goes hard to the net and has a quick, effective shot.
Ashton has good hockey bloodlines. His father, Brent, was a first-round pick 30 years ago — taken 26th by the Vancouver Canucks — and the forward played 998 games in the NHL. Those who have seen him play say he has good hockey smarts.
Canes' call: If Ashton is still on the board, the feeling is he should be the guy. He's just what Rutherford and the Canes are looking for in the first round.
Now, if we could just get a peek at that scouting report ...