Carolina Hurricanes: Should they call up Martin Necas?


The Carolina Hurricanes have ten games left to secure a playoff spot, and have seen their depth scoring reduce in recent weeks. Should the Canes consider recalling Martin Necas?

In recent weeks the Carolina Hurricanes have used a rotation system to allow for Jordan Staal‘s return to the team, forcing a combination of Warren Foegele, Greg McKegg and Saku Maenalanen out of the line-up. Maenalanen is probably the odd-man out – but the case could be made for Don Waddell and Rod Brind’Amour to consider bringing Czech scoring sensation Martin Necas back to Raleigh for the stretch.

Fans of the Carolina Hurricanes will remember that Necas began the 2018/19 season with the Canes, featuring progressively less and less as the team began the season with a 4-2-1 record. He posted an assist in the team’s ridiculous 8-5 win over the New York Rangers, and scored a goal in his last NHL game, a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning where the assists for his goal came from Foegele and the ill-fated Valentin Zykov.

Martin Necas is a highly-skilled forward, and is regularly ranked as one of the very best prospects in the entire world not currently playing in the NHL. He played 4th-line minutes in his brief stint with the team, averaging just 10:01 per game and seeing no opportunity to play with similarly-skilled players.

At the time, Necas looked a little short of the physical requirements for the league; he lost more board battles than he won, won just 36.4% of his face-offs, and gave the puck away more times than he won it. But that’s not how you get your skilled players to play to the best of their abilities – one look at how Andrei Svechnikov has blossomed during his rookie season shows that a combination of grinding and scoring opportunity is the best way to ensure a well-rounded, two-way hockey player comes out the other end of his development.

Were the Canes to bring back Necas for the last ten games, there would be complications for the Expansion Draft. He would also likely take the place of McKegg, who Canes fans have grown to love in 2019 but who has provided just two goals and one assist in his last 15 games and won less than 50% of his draws. But the chance to add yet another talented scorer to this team is surely too good an opportunity to pass up.

If Necas were to come into the team, slot into the third line alongside Micheal Ferland and Jordan Martinook, and see Lucas Wallmark move down to center Warren Foegele and Brock McGinn, it would provide more scoring to a team that needs every goal it can get and would also provide Necas with the physical protection he may need. No-one is going to take a run at Necas when they know Ferland is mere feet away, and can drop a guy with a single punch. Brind’Amour could also operate with Martinook at center to allow Necas to play wing, as he has done for much of the season with the Checkers.

Just like the addition of Nino Niederreiter boosted the team’s offense, and just like the return of Jordan Staal saw the team’s lines become more balanced, the infusion of Martin Necas into the line-up could have a beneficial impact on the Carolina Hurricanes for the last crucial stretch of games.

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Let#s face it – it’s very unlikely that the Carolina Hurricanes would call up Martin Necas at this late stage of the season. Barring injury to a key player on the Canes, he’s more needed in Charlotte, where the Checkers will be missing fellow star forward Janne Kuokkanen and are in more need of Necas’ production. Make no mistake however: Martin Necas will be on this Carolina Hurricanes team next season. He is too talented to spend the first few years of his career developing in the minors. He is primed to be the Andrei Svechnikov of the Canes’ 2019/20 season.