If you look on capfriendly.com there are two players who are most commonly traded on the “armchair GM” feature, Jake Gardiner and Martin Necas. The Jake Gardiner trade is commonly just to create some cap space, and there are reasons why we shouldn’t do that either if we’re being honest here.
But the Martin Necas mock trades will never cease to puzzle me. Although I understand using Necas to potentially land a bigger player, some of the proposed trades have an insulting return. Whether it’s an inferior player or just draft picks, it’s like some fans WANT to get rid of Martin Necas, which doesn’t make much sense to me.
While I understand that Necas had a disappointing season, giving up on a young player with this much potential would be a major mistake in my opinion. Even in a season that was ultimately not good by his standards, he produced 14 goals, 26 assists, and 40 points.
In my opinion, the Hurricanes need to make it a top priority to re-sign Martin Necas. Again, he had a bad season but he is extremely important to the lineup and more importantly, the future of this franchise.
The 6’1 forward was drafted 12th overall in 2017, and although he was drafted as a center he has been utilized as a winger since being brought over to North America in 2018. After a brief appearance with the Canes to start the 2018-19 season, he was sent down to the Charlotte Checkers and moved to the wing. He progressed a lot in that one year as the Checkers went on to win the 2019 Calder Cup.
Necas is best known for two things, his speed, and his shot. Both are game-breaking attributes that Martin has in his arsenal, and since becoming a full-time NHLer multiple aspects of his overall game have continued to mature. Even though he stumbled a little on his turnovers last year, that can be cleaned up easily.
Martin Necas has been a huge source of offense since he joined the main roster. Over the span of the last 3 seasons, among all Hurricanes, Necas ranks:
- 4th in points (117 points)
- 4th in goals (44 goals)
- 5th in assists (73 assists)
- 3rd in even-strength points (88 EVP)
- 2nd in short-handed goals (3 SHG)
- T-1st in overtime goals (3 OTG)
- 2nd in game-winning goals (12 GWG)
Martin Necas has obviously been a very big part of the Hurricanes’ offense, particularly during the 2020-21 season. Necas was able to put up 41 points in 53 games and showed amazing chemistry with Sebastian Aho. With Andrei Svechnikov going through a slump and Teuvo Teravainen being injured for most of the season, Martin Necas was the best winger on the team and played a huge part in the team winning the Central Division.
One of the reasons for trading Necas I have seen is that there is no longer a spot in the top 6 for him. Last season Martin spent a lot of time on the 4th line due to the emergence of Seth Jarvis, and with the acquisition of Max Pacioretty, his top 6 spot seems as good as gone.
We have to remember that Pacioretty will likely be a one-and-done, and losing Necas could hinder the top 6 far past next season. One thing I think the coaching staff should consider is letting Necas play at his natural position.
Right now the biggest positional weakness on the team is the second-line center. Although I am hopeful, Jesperi Kotkaniemi has not yet proven that he can handle the task of being the second-line center. If KK can’t fulfill the duties, why not give Martin Necas a shot at his natural position?
This whole situation seems very familiar to that Elias Lindholm. Lindholm played on the wing in Carolina which stunted his development. After a trade to Calgary, he exploded. This past season he was a point per game player and scored over 40 goals. It is obvious now that the Canes gave up on him way too early, and the team does not want to make that same mistake with Necas.
I would also like to mention the fact that Necas is by far the fastest player on the team, and removing him from the lineup automatically makes the team slower which obviously is a bad thing. Necas’ ability to use his speed in transition has only grown over the years, and he can genuinely change games with how fast he is.
The Hurricanes currently have a little over 4 million dollars in cap space, and will likely need to move out some money in order to retain Necas. In my opinion, Martin Necas needs to be suiting up for the Hurricanes next season, and I hope that Don Waddell and Co. agree.
The best course of action would be to give Necas a bridge deal in the $3-4 million AAV range. This allows him to prove that last season was just a fluke and that he can still grow into his potential. I believe that Martin Necas can be an effective forward in the long run, and I really hope we get to see him take those next steps in Raleigh.