Carolina Hurricanes Free Agency Preview: Top Forwards

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The Carolina Hurricanes Free Agency period is certain to be a busy one, with almost half the roster entering free agency should they not be offered new contracts. The Hurricanes are certain to need to resign some of these players, as some of their top forwards are currently looking towards entering the free agency market. These players include top Hurricanes forwards Vincent Trocheck, Martin Necas, and Nino Niederreiter who have all become crucial to the Hurricanes for different reasons.

Vincent Trocheck

Since Trocheck arrived from the Florida Panthers in 2020, he has been a crucial member of the Hurricanes’ forward core, consistently appearing on the second line in the center. Last season with the Hurricanes, Trocheck managed to put up 51 points from the second line, as well as a +21 +/- rating, playing as a quick draw two-way forward. He won 54% of his faceoffs throughout the season and was a fairly consistent top forward for the team.

The drawback to him this past season was the amount of time he spent in the penalty box, 78 minutes, however, this did not hinder the team much because their penalty kill lines still managed to put up a fair number of shorthanded goals, as well as managing to keep the puck out of their own net fairly regularly. The talented forward also managed to put up three game-winning goals and was an important part of the Hurricanes’ power play, with 12 points on the powerplay. Overall, the team should look to resign the player, as he is likely to continue to be a solid forward for the team in years to come, as well as being a good middle-aged presence to the team.

Martin Necas

Martin “Marty” Necas is one of the young Hurricanes forwards who could be entering the restricted free agent market. At just age 23, Necas has already become a staple in the Hurricanes lineup, as his positional flexibility has allowed him to move up and down the lines, as required, and his hard work and determination in front of the net have helped to create a large number of chances for himself and his fellow teammates. Necas has begun to contribute on every line he plays, whether it be even strength, short-handed, or with the extra skater. On top of all this, he has become a late-game finisher, with six game-winning goals coming from the second or third line depending on the weekly rotation.

The Hurricanes may choose to wait to see what offers the young forward gets in restricted free agency in order to judge what would be a fair offer in terms of salary for this player, or if they can afford to lose him for what a team would have to give up in order to sign him. Overall, this player could be a solid contributor to the Hurricanes’ forwards for years to come should he stay with the team.

Nino Niederreiter

Nino Niederreiter has been a solid depth forward for the Hurricanes ever since he arrived from the Minnesota Wild, with his typical position being on the left-wing for the Jordan Staal line. The now veteran forward has consistently put up positive +/- ratings, with this past season being his best yet at a +29. Defensively Niederreiter is able to contain plays well, as well as take the puck off of opposing players on the forecheck. The veteran player has managed to become a crucial feature to the Hurricanes’ forwards on the power play, as well as being a solid locker room presence and versatile forward.

Overall, the Hurricanes are not likely to let Niederreiter go into free agency lightly, however, with him aging up and not being a top point producer, it is likely that the team will try to pursue him at a lower overall contract value than in previous seasons. While this would be a sad departure from the Hurricanes’ forwards, they would likely be able to fill the position without much difficulty thanks to their roster depth.

Other Hurricanes Forwards Entering Free Agency

The Hurricanes’ free agency players also include the likes of Hurricanes forwards Steven Lorentz, Max Domi, Derek Stepan, Stefan Noesen, Josh Leivo, and C.J. Smith. The Hurricanes are likely to try to resign Lorentz and Domi, as the two were able to show that they are a strong fit for the Hurricanes’ forward core during the 2021-22 season. They may also try to resign Stepan due to his strong veteran presence, and the need for a solid depth forward that can rotate into the lines when needed.

Overall, the Hurricanes’ free agency period is likely going to be spent resigning some of the players they could lose, as well as testing the market to try and bolster their team going into the 2022-23 season, and make another run for the Stanley Cup. Which current Hurricanes forwards should be resigned? Who should the Hurricanes pursue in free agency? Leave a comment letting us know, and stay tuned on Overtime Heroics Hockey for a look at Defensive Players entering the free agency market from the Hurricanes.

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Having written with Overtime Heroics for two years as a variety writer, Alex Sorichetti now serves as a managing editor with the company.