ABC11 talks to Canes' likely top pick

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- Things keep looking better and better for the Carolina Hurricanes - new owner, general manager, head coach, and this month, they have the second pick in the NHL Draft on June 22.

On Wednesday night, we caught up with Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell and the team's top prospect for the 2018 NHL Draft, Andrei Svechnikov.

Most 18-year-olds have college on their minds but Svechnikov is trying to impress the Canes GM.

"I just don't feel any pressure," he said. "I just want to play next season here."

Waddell seemed duly impressed.

"These kinds of players don't come along that often," Waddell said. "That's why you have to be careful thinking about can we do better in the draft if we do something else. He's a special player and he could make a big impact and be a part of this progress as we move forward for a long time."

The Canes met Svechnikov at the NHL combine and then brought him to Raleigh to learn more about him as a person.

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ABC11's Bridget Condon spoke exclusively Wednesday with Canes GM Don Waddell and Andrei Svechnikov, rated the No. 2 prospect and possibly the Canes' first-round pick.

"Very knowledgeable about what's going on around our team," Waddell said. "He did a lot of homework. Knows all about our players and all of that so it's been a lot of fun with him."

Last year Svechnikov scored 40 goals in just 44 games in the Ontario Hockey League.

"You can see the fire in his eyes when he talks about it," Waddell said. "He talks about winning. We all look at him as an individual player, how many goals he wants to score but no he wants to talk about how many games we are going to win."

"I want to win so bad and that's what the team needs - just win," Svechnikov said.

Waddell said if they are able to draft the Russian star, he will join the roster immediately.
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