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  • Carolina Addresses Weakness With Clayton Keller


    Offense remains their biggest problem (well, and goaltending). They allowed the third fewest shot attempts against per hour of even strength play and their shot attempts for ranked 21st. It's something they may aim to correct in the draft with a first round pick, two second round picks and three third round picks.

    Carolina Prospect Pool

    About Clayton Keller

    Getting Keller this deep would be a huge win for Carolina, and it's possible. He's ranked as fourth overall by some scouts, but there are questions about his small stature and lack of physical play. He's also had some question his defensive ability. It's not poor, but it's a step below some of the forwards in the draft's second tier like Pierre-Luc Dubois.

    Nonetheless, he's an offensively gifted player who is incredibly smart. He led the U.S. National Team Development Program squad with 102 points in 62 games, coming in 26 points ahead of Kieffer Bellows in second. The only player to ever put up more points for the USNTDP was Auston Matthews the prior year when he scored 116 points in two fewer contests.

    Putting a fine point on his impeccable hockey sense, his 70 assists are the most by a USNTDP player.

    Keller would be a nice fit for the Wild as they continue to look for a top tier scorer for the system. Additionally, he's a center, which is another area of need. He wouldn't be an immediate fix, as he's not NHL ready and will undoubtedly play for Boston University next year. There are a fair number of centers in the system, but few that project as a likely top six lock. Keller would give the Wild just that.

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