Carolina Hurricanes: Could Brandon Tanev be an Option?

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 08: Brandon Tanev #13 of the Winnipeg Jets skates hard with the puck through the neutral zone during an NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes on March 8, 2019 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 08: Brandon Tanev #13 of the Winnipeg Jets skates hard with the puck through the neutral zone during an NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes on March 8, 2019 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Micheal Ferland seems to be on his way out of Carolina. The Carolina Hurricanes would be left with a glaring need for a power forward. We take a look at how Brandon Tanev could be a solid replacement.

Micheal Ferland was a great asset for the Carolina Hurricanes last season. There are a few problems that might make him leave in free agency. One, last season he did prove that he could potentially have an injury problem with the nagging injuries he had. Two, he might not want to return to Carolina. And three, the Hurricanes may be turned away by the potential price tag of Ferland.

So, how can the Hurricanes replace him? Brandon Tanev could potentially be the answer.

First, let’s look at Brandon Tanev on offense. Last season Tanev had a career season offensively. He had 14 goals and 15 assists for Winnipeg. That is more than his first two full seasons combined (10 goals and 12 assists). The promising thing about his offensive game is that each season he improved statistically.

Compared to Ferland’s statistics, Tanev isn’t that far behind. Ferland had three more goals and eight more assists. Although Ferland may be a more gifted scorer, Tanev has been a healthier player than Ferland.

Second, Tanev is absolutely a gritty power forward who isn’t afraid to lay hits. In nine more games played than Ferland, Tanev had 96 more hits (278 to 182). Both players had limited time in the playoffs and Ferland had three more hits than Tanev in two more games played (20 to 17).

Tanev was third in the entire NHL in terms of hits for the 2018-19 season. That would be a huge benefit for the Hurricanes if they were to go down this route because they would have a big hole in terms of a power forward. Tanev’s style of play could be best suited for the physical grind of the playoffs as things usually intensify during playoff hockey.

A big reason why this would be a benefit to the Hurricanes is that Tanev would be a cost-effective option as the team has other players it needs to take care of before free agency. Tanev won’t cost as much as what Ferland is projected to be worth. Ferland would be great to re-sign, but only if the price is right to do so. This can allow the Hurricanes to have more cap room to lock up players like Sebastian Aho and Petr Mrazek.

Tanev also is an effective penalty killer. Whether it is by blocking shots or playing aggressive to get the puck out of the zone, Tanev has proved his worth killing penalties. You can never have enough good penalty killers because you always can change things up when things seem to not be going well.

Brandon Tanev is a physical force that the Carolina Hurricanes haven’t had in a long time. With the forechecking the Hurricanes do to generate offense, Tanev could use his physicality to knock the opposing players off of the puck. Doing so could also tire out the opposing defenseman by having them have to be aggressive in getting the puck out of the zone.

Tanev may not be well-known around the league just yet, but his steady improvement over the course of his career makes it seem like he will soon be leaving his mark on the league. He may not be flashy offensively or the best of scorers, but he is a physical presence that will play well with the Hurricanes brand of hockey.

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Question for CC Readers: Do you think Brandon Tanev can easily replace Micheal Ferland?