Many Carolina Hurricanes fans are not weathering the crisis around Hurricanes rookie defensemen Jalen Chatfield well. In fact, most are wondering how much longer until Chatfield is sent back to Chicago.
But Coach Rod Brind’Amour, like a true-life hockey version of Baron Friedrich von Steuben, is doubling down and betting these trying times with Chatfield are nearing an end.
Though Chatfield’s numbers are thin with the defensively strong Hurricanes, there is still time for some serious breakout hockey from the 6’1 188 lbs. 26-year-old from Ypsilanti, MI.
Until that big time break out occurs, there should be a job for Jalen Chatfield in Raleighwood.
Last year with the AHL Chicago Wolves, Chatfield amassed 18 point in 44 games. However, perhaps his most valued contribution was the 33 penalty minutes earned as the big man on the Wolves squad.
And that is where Chatfield can fit in, if not thrive with the Carolina Hurricanes. As a big, tough presence on the ice night in and night out.
With time, the goals will come.
Carolina, and Rod Brind’Amour in particular, has proven this formula to be successful. Bring in young, physical players, and craft them into solid defensive grinders that add spark on the downhill side of the ice when needed.
The Jordan Martinook, Jordan Staal, Japer Fast line is a prime example. More than enough offensive capability to draw top line opponents, but gritty enough to loosen the teeth of lesser men.
Martinook and certainly Staal came to town young and under refined. As we have seen so far this season, they are neither of those now. With two good wingers, Chatfield could be centering a similar line in a few years.
Maybe even better.
Sure the numbers look more like Valley Forge Junior Hockey. Chatfield is 0-for with the Hurricanes in the goal department with only 2 apples. Making matters slightly worse, his ice time is nominal right now with the current configuration.
Still, do not quit on a rookie playing his first full season in the NHL.
Thomas Payne once wrote “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service.” 1. Jalen Chatfield is not at all the summer solider or the sunshine patriot, and he is not apt to shrink from the service of the Carolina Hurricanes.
1.Paine Thomas and Richard R Beeman. Common Sense : And the American Crisis I. Penguin Books 2015.