The Carolina Hurricanes are back on the winning side of things, and it feels good. It feels even better for the defenseman, Jalen Chatfield, as he has scored a goal in each of the two victories.
The right-handed defenseman from Michigan is heating up as he gets more acclimated with the NHL and the Carolina organization.
Rod Brind’Amour has become more and more comfortable playing Chatfield in big situations and for more time on the ice.
Normally, Chatfield has gotten 15-19 shifts a game, averaging around 13 minutes of ice time.
On December 22nd, the 26-year-old played a season-high ice time of 16:34. Recently. He logged 15:38 on his way to scoring a goal and contributing to breaking the losing streak for the Canes.
Calvin De Haan has been his defensive partner for most of the season and the two seem to have found some solid chemistry.
De Haan has provided the necessary veteran presence to allow Chatfield to get acquainted with Brind’Amour’s system and stick with the big club.
Are we starting to see a new level of play for Chatfield?
This is a player that has only played 77 games in the NHL and is just scratching the surface of what he can contribute to the Hurricanes.
The 6’1 Chatfield provides solid, positional defense in his own zone but has shown sparks of offensive creativity and a knack for the net.
The emergence of Chatfield’s offensive ability may be a chance to provide some assistance to the power play and keep the minutes down for Brent Burns and Brett Pesce.
Being under contract for another year under a very team-friendly $762,500, Don Waddell will have some cap flexibility to keep other free agents on the roster beyond this spring.
Big things to come from this young man and the Canes will benefit from his growth.