Hurricanes’ Necas Stabilizing Offense Amidst Injury Turmoil

Just short of the 30-game mark, the Carolina Hurricanes find themselves in a prime position to make a run at the Stanley Cup this season. Despite a plethora of injury issues, the Hurricanes are 15-6-6 and tied for second in the tightly contested Metropolitan Division. One of the main reasons they have been able to withstand early adversity is the hot start from forward Martin Necas.

Related: Hurricanes News & Rumors: Andersen, Aho, & More

The 23-year-old Necas is having a breakout season, leading the team with 28 points through 27 games. He’s on pace to obliterate his previous career highs in goals, assists, and points this season. Without the Czech forward’s early contributions, who knows where the Hurricanes would be in the standings.

Necas’ Potential

Necas produced decent offensive numbers in his first few full seasons for the Hurricanes but did not make the jump many expected him to make in 2021-22, leading many fans to speculate that Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell would choose not to re-sign him in the offseason. However, his talent and potential proved to be too much to let go, and the Hurricanes signed him to a two-year deal that is proving to be one of the best decisions of the summer.

Necas has seen a significant jump in ice time, averaging 19:39 per game this season compared to 16:11 last season. He has made the most of this additional time, producing career-best numbers in both goals per 60 minutes and points per 60 minutes, with 1.36 and 3.17, respectively. His numbers throughout his career indicate that this level of play is not only sustainable, but he also could reach a higher level as the season progresses. He boasts an impressive shooting % of 13.3 this season; however, he finished 2019-20 with a shooting % of 18, so don’t be surprised if he starts finding the net at a higher rate and easily eclipses the 30-goal mark.

Latest News & Highlights

Necas has been playing at the same level as star center Sebastian Aho this season, and the numbers prove that this start hasn’t been a fluke; Necas is just behind Aho with 9.2 expected goals. He also leads the Hurricanes in shots on goal with 90 (Svechnikov is the next closest with 82).

Martin Necas Carolina Hurricanes
Martin Necas, Carolina Hurricanes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He has also shown great improvements in puck handling and protection. Throughout his career, he’s never finished with more takeaways than giveaways, but through 27 games in 2022-23, he has 20 takeaways and 19 giveaways. This is likely a direct result of his skyrocketing confidence as his ice time increases, and he continues to improve his defensive skills.

Confident Necas Can Take Hurricanes to Another Level

Many believed that signing Max Pacioretty was the offseason move that would push the Hurricanes over the top in their quest to lift the Stanley Cup. However, it seems that the decision to re-sign Necas might keep the team in contention despite all the injuries they’ve suffered. His consistently high level of play couldn’t have come at a better time, as the team has already seen key forwards Aho and Teuvo Teravainen miss time with minor injuries. The sky is the limit for the Hurricanes if they can continue to play at this level while they wait for Pacioretty to make his debut in the next few weeks.

Explore everything hockey with THW’s Hockeypedia pages.

The Hockey Writers HockeyPedia 800x120