Hurricanes draft defenseman Haydn Fleury in first round

With his first draft pick as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, Ron Francis selected versatile defenseman Haydn Fluery on Friday night.

The Carolina Hurricanes drafted defenseman Haydn Fluery with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Matt Slocum / AP

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis used the first draft pick of his tenure in Charlotte on one of the top defenseman available in the draft, Canadian prospect Haydn Fleury.

Fleury, a 6-foot-2 left-hander who last played for Red Deer in the WHL, was taken with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. He was the second defenseman off the draft board, following No. 1 overall pick Aaron Ekblad. He accounted for 46 points in 70 games last season, including a team-leading plus-15 rating. 

Fleury is the first defenseman the franchise has taken in the first round since Ryan Murphy was taken 12th overall in 2011.

"It's a real surreal experience right now. I really don't have many words to say. Haven't really felt my feet for the past 10 minutes. It's unreal experience and I'm very happy to be in Carolina," Fluery said. " ... I just consider myself a two-way defenseman that can play in all situations of the game: run a power play, play on the penalty kill, play against other teams' top line."

Asked about his reasoning behind taking Fluery, Francis responded, "He's a very big, mobile defenseman. He's got a lot of upside."