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Carolina Hurricanes Offseason Grades: Martin Necas

While the Carolina Hurricanes season ended in disappointment, the team had a lot to be proud of. Now in the offseason, tough decisions will be made, and management will work to put the team in a place to succeed next season. In the meantime, we will take a look back at individual players’ seasons and see how they did. Today for the Carolina Hurricanes offseason grades we look at Martin Necas.

Carolina Hurricanes Offseason Grade: Martin Necas

The Hurricanes have high hopes for Martin Necas. The 2017 first-round pick has shown flashes of brilliance in his time with Carolina but has also had moments of struggle. Carolina drafted the Czechia native as a centre but he has played predominately on the wing in the NHL. He has a decent shot as is seen when he sets up on the dot during the powerplay for one-timers. He also has good hands and has developed more of a two-way game as he spent time on the penalty kill. However, his most notable asset is his straight-away lightning speed. Not including Connor McDavid, Necas could almost hang with anyone in the league in straightaway speed. With high hopes and potential, Hurricanes signed Necas to a two-year deal before the 2022-23 season.

Martin Necas’ Regular Season

Carolina fans wanted to see Necas take his game to the next level this season, and Necas truly did. Especially at the start. He spent time playing on the top line with Sebastian Aho and had success on the second line for a long stretch with Andrei Svechnikov and Jesperi Kotkaniemi or Paul Stastny. The Svechnikov/Kotkaniemi/Necas line played the second-most games of any line combination and had the second-highest collective Corsi for the Hurricanes this season.

Individually, Necas exploded this year in the points department. He finished with a team high 71 points, 43 assists, and four overtime goals while collecting the second highest goals at 28 and game winning goals at five. His points, assists and goals almost doubled his personal best. He did slowdown in production some in later part of the season, only collecting seven goals in the last three months compared to 21 in the first four. Overall, Necas really thrived this season and showed how much he can generate plays as a well-rounded offensive player. His 26.9 expected goals and team-leading 32 primary assists help paint this picture in addition to the eye test.

Martin Necas’ Playoffs

When the playoffs rolled around, Martin Necas’ playing style was slightly less effective. He still put up a respectable four goals and three assists in 15 games played but compared to his regular season tear, it was a little dip. In the playoffs the game typically gets tighter so Necas high flying game, while still utilized, becomes less effective. He tried to adjust but sometimes seemed to be trying to much and gripping the stick a little tight.

He did help the team and scored one game winning goal while ending second on the team in powerplay points. Powerplay production showed to be a pretty important determinant of Carolina’s playoff success or lack thereof in many games. His 4.1 expected goals put him more in the upper middle of the pack, but he did not have any primary assists the entire playoffs. So, while effective in the playoffs, Carolina ideally would have liked to have seen a little more out of Necas. Had Svechnikov not missed the playoffs with an injury, maybe…maybe that would have allowed Necas some more space to produce, given his production early in the season playing with Svechnikov. But that is all hypothetical at this point.


Even though sometimes Necas looked like he was trying to do too much, he is a very skilled player who can play at a high pace. He really showed that in the regular season. Management put trust in him by signing him for two years and for the season especially it seemed to pay off. Again, the team and Necas himself will be looking for him to make strides forward in his progression as he is only 24 years old. He is a player Carolina leans on for points.

With some rumours flying at this point, you could see Necas being part of a trade to bring in a significant piece. More likely, based on management’s post season comments, Carolina will put their faith in Necas to continue in his progression. Had we looked at Necas for his regular season based on expectations compared to results, he would have gotten a very high grade. However, you’d really be looking for a little more out of Necas for his playoff performance.

Grade: B+

Main Photo: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports


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