The Carolina Hurricanes have recently signed defenseman Haydn Fleury to a 1-year,1-way contract worth $850,000. Can Fleury finally have a breakout season and become a full-time fixture on the Carolina Hurricanes’ roster?
Haydn Fleury played 20 games in the regular season, and nine games in the playoffs with the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2018-19 season, a marked decrease from his 67 games played in Raleigh during the 2017-18 season.
Most likely due to the Hurricanes bringing in veteran defenseman Calvin de Haan, the decrease in NHL action saw Fleury make an impact at the AHL level with 23 games played in Charlotte, and was a pivotal part of the Charlotte Checkers’ success in winning their first-ever Calder Cup.
Fleury, in 87 games played in the NHL, has yet to score a goal, but it’s not for lack of trying. Notching 8 assists in 2017-18, and one assist in 2018-19, Fleury is more of a stay-at-home defenseman, with quite a bit of defensive and offensive potential to develop into.
Fleury is by no means a bad hockey player, or a bad defenseman. He seemed to develop more defensively in Rod Brind’amour’s ‘grit and grind’ system than in Bill Peter’s ‘dump-and-chase’ system, but still has a ways to go if he wants to see time on anything higher than the 3rd defensive pairing, more than likely with Trevor van Riemsdyk.
Fleury may also see time on the 2nd penalty-kill unit, as he has a tendency to be a relatively solid penalty-killer. Haydn’s potential could see him develop nicely into a 2nd-pairing blueliner, especially if Justin Faulk gets moved before or during the trade deadline. As for this season, expect Haydn Fleury to split time as the ‘7th defenseman’ on the left-side of the 3rd defensive pairing with up-and-comer Jake Bean.
If anything can be said for Fleury, its that he is showing progress under Rod Brind’amour and his grit and grind system (as many players are wont to do, considering Rod’s tremendous ability to get the most out of his players), and could easily be promoted to the 2nd defensive pairing, and 1st penalty-kill unit as early as December, especially if something seems to not be working out with the expected lines in place for those units.
Hopefully Fleury can draw into more than a few dozen games this season and continue to develop at his current pace, and (FOR THE LOVE OF THE HOCKEY GODS) someone please help this man score his first NHL goal. It has been an insanely long time coming.
Question for CC Readers: What do you think we’re going to see out of Haydn Fleury this coming season?