The Carolina Hurricanes traded for Andrej Sekera at the 2013 Draft, sacrificing Jamie McBain and a second-round pick to acquire the Czech Republic native.
Since then, the only other defenseman the Canes have added is Toronto cast-off Mike Komisarek, who is actually being discussed more than Sekera because of Komisarek’s past. However, it’s more likely Sekera will make a bigger impact on this Hurricanes team.
Now it’s just a question of how big of an impact Sekera will have.
For one, the 27-year-old becomes the best defensive defenseman on the team. Tim Gleason had a rough 2012-13 season and will need to rebound before he regains that spot.
Coach Kirk Muller said before he may stick the two together to create a shutdown pairing. Sekera can also handle over 20 minutes a game and could play with Justin Faulk for a more balanced lineup.
As for Sekera’s defensive play, he’s great with his stick and positioning. but not a physical player. But poke-checking works just as well as laying out a hit and is sometimes a better choice to make.
Sekera can also pass the puck and has no problem carrying the puck up ice, which gives Muller the option of using him on the power-play.
The impact Sekera has on this team will be noticeable. He will help the defense in their own zone and contribute on offense. But do not expect a full turn-around from last season just because of Sekera.
Last year the Sabres team had a rough start and although Sekera played well, he could not do much to turn the team around.
Sekera is a good defenseman, but he is not a game-changer.