Canes will try to trade Harvard’s Fox, Dundon says

With Harvard defenseman Adam Fox balking at signing an entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, team owner Tom Dundon said Monday the Canes are looking at another option.

“We’ll try to trade him,” Dundon said. “I think we’ll do OK. We’ll see.”

The Canes obtained Fox as part of the June 2018 trade with the Calgary Flames that had defenseman Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm going to the Flames for defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Micheal Ferland. The Flames had hoped to sign Fox after his sophomore season at Harvard but were told he planned to return to school for his junior year and then included him in the trade with Carolina.

If Fox goes back to Harvard for his senior season and completes his college eligibility, he will became a free agent in 2020. But there’s the belief if a trade can now be arranged by the Canes with a team Fox desires to play for, he might sign immediately.

Many consider Fox, a right-handed shooting D-man, to be NHL-ready, increasing his value to other teams. Could a trade bring the Canes a first-round draft pick? That might be too steep a price, although a second-round draft selection probably can’t be ruled out.

If a trade can’t be completed, the Canes could continue to try and sign Fox. If he returns to Harvard and becomes a free agent next year, they could make another run at him, although that would be unlikely.

Fox attended the Canes’ prospect development camp in Raleigh last year soon after the trade with Calgary. In an interview, he said he had made no firm plans about his pro future, saying, “For me, it’s not that I’ve thought all the way down the road and had this whole thing planned out, of what I want to do.”

Canes general manager Don Waddell had praise for Fox, saying he was the best defensive prospect not in the NHL. Waddell also was confident the Canes would sign Fox, saying he was “99.9 percent” certain an agreement could be reached after Fox’s junior year.

An all-American at Harvard, Fox has twice been a member of Team USA in the IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal in 2017.

In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.