243 goals scored; 2.96 per game; 16th in NHL
PP: 44/247; 17.81%; 20th in NHL
So we know that the Carolina Hurricanes have offensive talent, but what can we expect? Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen should be locks to maintain their recent pace, which bodes well for the team. Even if they don’t take huge steps forward, the scoring prowess they’ve shown will be invaluable.
Andrei Svechnikov could be tricky. I love the kid and I have no doubt that he’ll be a star for years to come. The question then becomes whether he’ll hit a sophomore slump. For what it’s worth, I don’t think that’ll happen.
He showed heart, determination, and skill throughout last season and he ratcheted up the intensity in the playoffs. No, he likely won’t explode this season, but it should represent a step forward for the young Russian.
A full season from Nino Niederreiter is a bonus after the Swiss winger notched 30 points in 36 games after coming over from Minnesota. Then we have the additions of Haula and Dzingel. If the two new arrivals can stay healthy and mesh with the team, the offense becomes that much more dangerous. They’ll need to replace the offense lost with Justin Williams and Micheal Ferland, at the very least.
The bottom 6 also boasts some offensive threats. I’m very curious to see how Warren Foegele acquits himself after elevating his game in last season’s playoffs. Brock McGinn and newly-appointed alternate captain Jordan Martinook combined for 25 goals last season.
McGinn alone may have touched that mark if he didn’t do whatever it was to anger the Goalpost Gods. Hopefully, he’s made amends and their wrath will find a new target who doesn’t play for the Hurricanes.
Rookies Necas is a wild card, possessing the skills necessary to find success but we’ll have to see how he responds to the daily grind and higher level of opposition in the NHL.
Justin Faulk and his 11 goals represent the biggest loss on the backend, though adding Jake Gardiner to a blueline already manned by Dougie Hamilton helps to ease that. The greatest hope that lies with Hamilton and Gardiner is that they can help resuscitate the Hurricanes’ ailing power play, a feat that would make a huge impact for a team looking to boost their offensive output.
Let’s take a look at some key additions and subtractions, along with their goal-scoring impact:
A cursory glance at that table isn’t promising until you remember that Haula lost all but 15 games last year. If he can remain healthy, he can easily make up that gulf. That said, the Hurricanes haven’t made a quantum leap (at least on paper) with their offense.
That said, I still see them scoring at least 10-15 more goals than last season, though that number will change along with the proficiency of the power play.