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Is trading Martin Necas the right move for the Hurricanes?

June 7, 2024, 8:01 PM ET [8 Comments]
Ben Shelley
Carolina Hurricanes Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT

The summer of 2024 is shaping up to be one of the busiest offseasons in recent memory for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Kicking off with Don Waddell exiting the organization after a very well-received tenure, the Hurricanes have a huge number of players due for new contracts, without enough cap space to keep everyone. One of the biggest topics of discussion though revolves around the future of Martin Necas.

It’s seemed like Necas’ name has popped up in trade rumblings on-and-off for a couple of years now, but with the winger due for a new contract, now could be the time a move is more likely to happen. By all reports, both the player and the team are looking for a change, and Necas’ days in Carolina appear to be numbered.

But with all signs pointing towards Necas being traded, is dealing the winger actually the right move for Carolina?

At just 25 years old, Necas has grown into a productive forward for the Hurricanes. His 2023-24 numbers had him scoring at a pace of 26 goals and 56 points per 82, but just one season prior, the winger posted 71 points.

We’ve seen that at his best, Necas can really take hold of a game, and the team being so set on dealing him seems like somewhat of an unnecessary move.

Based on his age, Necas fits the team’s window to contend. With the team’s top forwards all still only in their early/mid 20s, the winger looks as though he could be a long-term piece (at least on paper). Plus, with finishing on chances being one of the team’s main hurdles through the last few years, losing Necas isn’t going to help that.

Elliotte Friedman has also reported that the Hurricanes are now willing to trade Jake Guentzel’s rights, meaning it’s all but certain the Guentzel won’t return to Carolina next season, either. So the Hurricanes are facing what could be an overhaul of their forward group.

Even in terms of his contract, while Necas is due for a major raise, the deal isn’t likely to break the bank. While he does seem like a lock to be moved, I’ve released a contract projection article on what his next contract could look like, at HockeyComparables.com.

- ARTICLE: Projecting Martin Necas’ next contract

Then there’s the debate of what the Hurricanes could really be looking for in a trade. It’s going to be difficult to get a roster player who can provide Necas’ impact, and finding a trade partner for that kind of deal is unlikely. On the flip side, taking back future assets just doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Hurricanes either, with the team looking to compete right now.

To be fair, there are things that would cause some hesitation with keeping Necas long-term. His game isn’t wildly well-rounded, so when he goes through stretches where he’s not producing offensively, he isn’t providing a ton of value. Between Necas and fellow RFA Seth Jarvis, extending Jarvis has to be the priority.

Plus, maybe most importantly, Necas by most accounts seems ready for a change of scenery. If he wants a larger role, the Hurricanes may not necessarily be able to give it to him as well, and he’d likely see larger success with a team where he’s able to carry the puck more and attack with speed. Also, considering his name has been brought up in trade discussions multiple times, it’s only natural that he could have hesitations about re-signing with the team anyways.

But while any sort of a long-term future for Necas in Carolina is unlikely, it still seems like the Hurricanes are going to have a hard time turning this into a winning situation. They need to be able to bring in a major piece (or pieces) to counter the loss of Necas, and getting those pieces to be around Necas’ age to fit with the team’s contention window will be a difficult task.

It still seems like there’s another level to Necas’ game, and there’s a good chance he ends up finding it. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, it’s probably not going to be with them.

In other news: in addition to the Martin Necas projection, I’m once again in the process of releasing contract projections for 2024 free agents.

Of the Carolina Hurricanes’ free agents, contract projections for the following players are now listed on the site (either on the UFA or RFA projections page): Jordan Martinook, Stefan Noesen, Jalen Chatfield, Jack Drury, Tony DeAngelo, and Martin Necas.

Projection articles for the Top-50 Free Agents of the year are also currently being released, and predictions for all other UFAs and RFAs are currently available. Articles projecting contracts for all of Jake Guentzel, Seth Jarvis, Teuvo Teravainen, Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce will also be released.

So for those with particular interest in contract signings, feel free to take a look. Articles will be tweeted out as they become available, via @Hockey_Comps on Twitter/X. Any follows are much appreciated!

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