We have finally reached the midway point to the 2022-23 NHL Season. For this piece, we will examine the midseason awards for the Carolina Hurricanes. There have been a lot of bright spots with this team that is currently first in the Metropolitan Division.
For his first-ever All-Star nomination, he has been worth that nod. In addition, he has been the team’s most valuable player. Svechnikov leads the team in goals (19) and is second in points (34). He has come through not only at 5v5 but also on the power play. The big Russian power forward uses every bit of that big frame, as he ranks fifth on the team in high-danger chances when on the ice. The team is starved for goals, but he accounts for a good chunk of them.
Even though Martin Necas had 41 points last season, he is indeed the most improved player. The talent was always there, and his blend of speed and skill were amazing to watch. His biggest issue was consistency, and that is something he has fixed entering this season.
Necas is second on the team in goals (17) but first in points (38). He is a large part of the offensive attack this season and has connected nicely with linemate Andrei Svechnikov. Necas has a 58.31 Corsi For, and with him, on the ice, the team has scored 18 goals from the high-danger area. His goals percentage is the fifth highest on the team (63.04%). This means good things are happening with him on the ice. What a turnaround for him and huge for the team as well.
The journeymen depth player has been a bright spot for the Hurricanes. He is off to a career year and could surpass his highest point totals he set with the New Jersey Devils back in 2017-18. Noesen has eight goals, 12 assists, and 20 points; ten have come on the powerplay. Six of his goals have come on the power play. He plays a tough physical style, as he isn’t afraid to be physical (52 hits). Noesen has also been an effective player and has the second-best possession numbers on the team (68%). After a monster season with the Chicago Wolves last year, this is great to see, and what a nice player to have if you are Rod Brind’Amour.
There is no easy way around this one, and despite being out with injury, the production just has not been there. This is a guy since joining Carolina, who has scored 20-goals three times and has hit the 60-point mark three times. His best season came in 2018-19. But this season has been dreadful. Once a guy they could count on for goals as he has a lethal shot, he has hit the back of the net only three times. For a team that lacks finishing ability, and given he is a top-six winger for the club, this is a massive disappointment. The return of Max Pacioretty softens the blow, but this isn’t normal for him.
Overall Team Grade: A-
The Carolina Hurricanes are in great overall shape. This is a team that has a great defensive structure and stellar goaltending overall. Maybe everything is not clicking on all cylinders, but when it finally does, this is not a team you want to face. There may be holes on the roster that need to be addressed (second-line center and a scoring winger), but overall this is a great team and rightfully deserves first place in the division.