What the Carolina Hurricanes Should Do With Martin Necas

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Martin Necas could be a prime candidate for an offer sheet.

One of the biggest beasts in the East resides in North Carolina. The Carolina Hurricanes have emerged as Stanley Cup favourites and a perennial playoff contender. Despite two consecutive second-round exits two seasons in a row, this team is right on the edge of hoisting the Stanley Cup.

NHL free agent frenzy

The Hurricanes have added talent both up front and on the back end. The addition of Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty provide a necessary spark to the lineup, while Dylan Coghlan and Ondrej Kase are complementary pieces.

The roster is starting to take shape, but there is one player that needs to be signed and that is restricted free agent Martin Necas. At this given rate, the forward could be either traded or face an offer sheet.

Martin Necas Is Prime Candidate for Offer Sheet

Martin Necas could be a prime candidate for an offer sheet. The Carolina Hurricanes are running into salary cap trouble. According to CapFriendly, the team currently has $1.8 million to spend. Necas will cost more than that, so it remains to be seen what can be done.

After losing Vincent Trocheck to the New York Rangers in free agency, a hole at the second-line centre position was open. After signing Jesperi Kotkaniemi to an eight-year deal with an AAV of $4.8 million dollars, it appears that work is his. Jordan Staal currently will centre the third line, and burying Necas on the fourth line does not make sense for his development or the team based on his skill set.

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Martin Necas’ Career So Far

Martin Necas was a former 12th overall by the Hurricanes in the 2017 draft. In 203 games played with the club, he has scored 45 goals, 74 assists, and 119 points. And while the team has had immediate playoff success, he has 14 points in 33 playoff games. This year, he scored 14 goals, 26 assists, and 40 points. Necas would finish with a Corsi For Percentage of 56% and an on-ice goals percentage at 52.5%. He would average only 1.9 points per 60 Minutes. 

Necas has been a full NHL player for the club since the 2019-20 season. During his rookie campaign, he scored a career-high 16 goals, 20 assists, and 36 points. You got a glimpse of what to expect out of the kid. The following season his point totals increased to 41. And this season, he scored 40 points in 78 games played. He scored at his expected rate and finished eighth in points on the team. While his point totals have remained consistent, he has seen his shooting percentage drop from 18% his rookie year to 8% this past season.

Despite having 40 points, it was inconsistent, something he has struggled with in his young career. For example; March And April were a big month full of games, and in March he put up seven points and followed it with five in April. In the month of April, he went on a ten-game pointless streak. Throughout the course of the year, you see streaks in his game for stretches at a time.

According to Evolving Hockey, this chart (subscription required) demonstrates his impact on the game and the lineup. Necas has the skill and the speed to be a threat and just needs to put it together. He needs to work on things in his own end but can create offence with the man advantage.

Teams To Show Interest

Martin Necas could face an offer sheet. With the little cap space, the team has to work with; a team could take advantage of the Hurricanes and pry the young player away from them. There are some centre needy teams out there that could use his services. But would they be willing to go the offer sheet route?

Buffalo Sabres

With every other team in the division improving their clubs, the Buffalo Sabres can follow suit and do the same. Kevyn Adams has done a great job building this team and aiming to turn a corner. As of right now, the Sabres have $19.6 million in cap space. They have a log jam at the centre position with Tage Thompson, Casey Mittelstadt, and Dylan Cozens, but Necas can also play wing. With a young up-and-coming team that showed some promise towards the end of the year, adding Necas to the mix would not be a bad idea.

New York Islanders

Even though they are one of the favoured destinations to land Nazem Kadri, Lou Lamoriello could aim for a backup plan. Even though the team currently has to sign young blue liner Noah Dobson, adding Martin Necas would be a good grab for Lou. Clearly needing a centre behind Mat Barzal, Necas could be a perfect fit and cost less than Kadri. The Islanders have around $11 million dollars to spend and could manage to make it work while trading a player with a heavy hit out of the way.

Detroit Red Wings

It isn’t something Steve Yzerman would do, but who are we to question the Yzerplan? The new players include Ville Husso, Andrew Copp, and Ben Chiarot. Why stop there? With $10 million left to spend and add to the lineup and the uncertainty of pending UFA Tyler Bertuzzi after next season, Necas can be plugged in and come cheaper. He can play both centre and winger, and with Yzerman wanting to be more competitive, this move could get them in that direction.

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Martin Necas’ Pros and Cons

Pros: With every move involving every player comes with pros and cons. Necas does come with pros. He is young as the player is only 23 years old. There is still plenty of room for him to grow. Necas has the skill and the speed to be an effective player and being able to move him around the lineup makes him valuable. He won’t cost a lot but can be effective when his game is on.

Cons: Despite Necas finishing in the top 10 in points every year for the Hurricanes, he has been inconsistent and streaky and leaving the team and the fans wanting more. Necas has so much talent and if he puts it all together and finds consistency. There is always room for improvement, and with Necas, there is improvement needed. But the kid is still valuable and having him in the lineup with his point production is valuable.

Closing Thoughts

The Carolina Hurricanes are poised to win the Stanley Cup. They are right there and you would think Necas would be part of that. And in the end, he still can be, but he could be on the move as well. There is value in this kid and he has the skill and the talent. And at his age, there is always room for improvement. A change of scenery could benefit the kid in the long run.

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