Solidifying a full time role in the Carolina Hurricanes’ top nine, how has Martin Necas performed in the first full month of his rookie season?
With Justin Williams “taking a break” for hockey, Martin Necas has been expected to take the next step in his development this season and fill the void as the Carolina Hurricane’s only right handed forward. With the first month of 2019-20 in the books, it’s safe to say that the young rookie hasn’t looked a bit out of place thus far.
When the opening night roster were finalized some fans may have been a bit disappointed to hear that Julien Gauthier was among the final cuts after his stellar play in the preseason. It appeared that the coaching staff and management felt like his play away from the puck still needed some additional seasoning, opting for the speed and skill of Necas instead.
Starting the season on the fourth line with Warren Foegele and Lucas Wallmark, it didn’t take long for Necas to show up on the score sheet. Playing a little over 15 minutes, Martin tipped a Dougie Hamilton point shot past Carey Price on the power play early in the second period.
From October 8th-15th Necas had a point in four games straight, one goal and three assists, setting a career high point streak. Playing 16:13 against LA on the 15th, he saw the most playing time in a single game thus far in his young career.
Now on a line with Erik Haula and Ryan Dzingel, the trio has had instant chemistry from the moment they were put together. With all three players known for their speed games, they seem to read off of one another really well.
October 24th, we saw Necas show off some elite patience when he set up a net driving Dzingel for a then go ahead goal against the Blue Jackets. This wouldn’t be the first time these two would team up for a highlight reel goal. November first, in a game against the Red Wings, Dzingel and Necas created magic once again, this time the roles were switched with Dzingel finding Marty with a no look pass for a one timer goal.
With eight points, three goals five assists, through his first fourteen games the rookie forward is off to a good start. With two game winning goals and a 17.6% shooting percentage, Carolina Hurricanes fans are seeing another core piece for the future grow before their very eyes.
Although the offense is something you’d expect and want to see from a player of his caliber you’d also hope he’d have the same attention to detail on the defensive side of the puck. Something that has been a work in progress, we’ve already seen a few instances where he made a key play in the defensive zone leading to an offensive breakout or two.
On the flip side, he hasn’t been without his faults, there has been a few hiccups where he turned the puck over leading to a goal or quality chance against. In the most recent game against the Devils, Brind’Amour shortened his bench in favor of more defensively reliable players, something we’ve seen happen with Andrei Svechnikov last year.
At the end of the day Martin Necas is off to a solid start. Spending some time in the NHL last year the young forward seems to be getting more and more comfortable each game. If he should sustain his production 40 points isn’t out of the question for the rookie. The skies the limit for Necas and the Carolina Hurricanes’ present and future both appear to be rather bright.
Question for CC readers: Where do you think Martin Necas will finish in the Calder Trophy voting?