As I just did with the New York Islanders, in the upcoming days I’ll be evaluating all Carolina Hurricanes and their performance up to this point in the season. This article will look at how each Hurricanes’ forward has performed so far versus expectations.
SEBASTIAN AHO- meeting expectations
Aho has been good this season, sometimes he’s just not as dominant as we’re used to. While he’s been incredible in certain games and stretches, he has taken games off. Overall though, he’s still one of the top forwards not just on Carolina but in the entire Metropolitan Division.
RYAN DZINGEL- meeting expectations
He’s had a real slow last 10 games but Dzingel is still having a solid year and adds some key depth to Carolina’s forward group. Especially considering the contract, you can’t really complain about the value he’s added thus far.
WARREN FOEGELE- surpassing expectations
Foegele has taken huge steps offensively and at just 23 years old, he’s developing well into a legitimate middle-six forward. He's certainly not perfect but he’s much further along in his development from where he was this time last year.
ERIK HAULA- meeting expectations
It’s been a tough season for Haula, between the tragic loss of his unborn daughter and then his injuries on top of that. On the ice, he’s still managed to be a very productive member of the team though and despite going pointless in his last five games, he’s generally been one of Carolina’s top forwards when in the lineup.
JORDAN MARTINOOK- falling short of expectations
Martinook isn’t relied upon for much offense but his numbers are still way down this year. He’s averaging less than a shot per game and his shooting percentage is down around 6.1 per cent. With Williams back, Martinook may end up in the press box.
BROCK MCGINN- falling short of expectations
With more forwards at the Hurricanes’ disposal, McGinn has fallen through the cracks a bit for the Hurricanes and he’s not producing as much as the past two seasons. I will say I thought he looked good playing with Justin Williams, so maybe Williams could help to turn McGinn’s year around.
MARTIN NECAS- meeting expectations
The bar was set pretty high for Martin Necas after making the team this year but so far so good. His shot has translated well to the NHL and he’s already third in Hurricanes’ forwards in goals. He’s had some pretty brutal turnovers and mistakes but overall, it’s been a good rookie season from Necas.
NINO NIEDERREITER- falling short of expectations
After seeing how great he was upon arriving in Carolina last season, it’s disappointing to see where Niederreiter is at right now. He’s not creating anywhere near enough chances and in comparing shots, last season he had 103 shots in 36 games, while this year he has just 84 shots in 50 games.
JORDAN STAAL- falling short of expectations
Staal came into the break with just one point in his last seven games and unfortunately, the rest of his season hasn’t been all that much better. His point per game average is on pace to be his lowest in 12 years and while his shooting percentage may be relatively low, it’s not low enough to blame it on “bad luck”.
ANDREI SVECHNIKOV- surpassing expectations
In just his second season in the league, Svechnikov is already stealing the show. He’s cooled off a bit in the games leading up to the break but I don’t think many predicted Svechnikov to produce like he has been. In an increased role, he’s scored goals at key times and his lacrosse style goals have been incredible to watch. We’re looking at a star in the making.
TEUVO TERAVAINEN- meeting expectations
He set the bar pretty high last year but he’s managed to perform just as well so far this season. He’s been incredibly consistent this year and he’s proving that last year’s increase in production wasn’t a one-off.
LUCAS WALLMARK- meeting expectations
In a limited role, Wallmark has been quite good this year. He’s on pace to hit the 35-point mark, despite sitting 10th among forwards in time on ice at even strength. A fourth-line of Wallmark centering McGinn and Williams could be excellent and I hope he’s not scratched instead of Martinook, or even McGinn.
JUSTIN WILLIAMS- surpassing expectations
I mean, we have a pretty tiny sample size but so far so good! For a deeper analysis on Williams (that kind of inspired the rest of these articles), you can read it here.
Part two of the All-Star break reports will be out tomorrow and will evaluate all Hurricanes’ defensemen.
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OTHER HURRICANES ARTICLES FROM JANUARY
Justin Williams is surpassing expectations
Hurricanes don't need to trade for defensive help after Hamilton injury
Hurricanes shouldn’t wait much longer for goaltending to improve
Justin Williams signs with Hurricanes
Justin Williams may be returning to the Carolina Hurricanes