Carolina Hurricanes Have a Hot Commodity in Martin Necas

Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes
Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

Martin Necas and the Carolina Hurricanes have been a match since the 2017 NHL Draft where the Canes selected Necas with the 12th overall pick. Necas has played parts of 7 seasons but has had a bulk of playing time in the last 5 years. Now the contract will come into play on whether this relationship continues.

The 25-year-old forward has completed his 2-year contract worth $3 million a season and is currently a restricted free agent. The Canes and interim general manager, Eric Tulsky, have many players without contracts and Necas is just one of three key restricted free agents. Seth Jarvis and Jack Drury are the other two.

The rumor season started and will continue to heat up as we approach the end of the Stanley Cup Finals. Much has been whispered about Necas being unhappy with his role in Raleigh. Combining this with the fact that the Canes will not have enough salary cap space to keep everyone, has led to a potential exit for Necas.

The Czech Republic native is a dynamic talent with phenomenal speed and a quick shooting release. His best season was in the 2022-23 season where he registered 71 points, with 28 of them being goals. This past season, he fell off a bit with 24 goals and 53 points. Still a solid season for a young player on a contending team.

Every team in the NHL needs a player of this skill level and age but every expert has their opinion on the ceiling of Necas. It is easy to see the potential in Necas but the progression has taken a step back this season as his average ice time fell just over a minute per game. Head coach Rod Brind'Amour expects two-way players and seemed to lose trust in Necas's defensive game.

It appears that the Canes have lost some faith in the Czech forward but it is more that they have increased confidence in other players on the roster. With a plethora of players in need of a contract, the priority of players needs to be addressed quickly before the free agency gates open.

Trading a talented, young player at this point in his career is always a risk, especially when the return could be unknown commodities like prospects or draft choices. Trading Necas would require a large package in return but the Canes are not rebuilding and just need to save the capital that would go toward a Necas deal for other players that are important to the immediate future.

Having said that, what would be the expected trade package for number 88? Any impactful player to the NHL lineup would require salary cap space, which is exactly what the Canes are looking to unload in a Necas trade. That leaves prospects and draft choices as the best option for a return and lots of them.

The Canes currently of have all 7 draft choices in the upcoming draft and hold two extra picks in the 6th-round from Toronto and Ottawa. In the 2025 NHL draft, Carolina currently does not have a 3rd or 5th-round draft choice. Surely building up that draft capital will be needed in any potential return.

The Canes' best prospects are either on the NHL roster or extremely close to breaking into that lineup. With that, a few established prospects would be more than welcome at this point to join the draft choices ahead of this June's draft.

Although I do not agree with letting Necas go in a trade, it appears that the Carolina management's hands are tied with other priority players until the money is cleared. Because of this Carolina would need a first-round pick in the 2025 draft and two prospects, one younger prospect and one that could break camp in 2025 on the roster.

It would also be preferable to ship Necas out of the Conference so that the Canes do not have to see him potentially progress in front of their eyes.