In response to the trade that sent Jamie McBain and the #35 pick in Sunday's draft to Buffalo for Andrej Sekera Andy Boron from Die by the Blade suggested that we each provide the other teams fans a little perspective on the players at the center of the deal. Below is Andy's brief write up on Andrej Sekera and what he may bring to the Canes. My brief analysis of Jamie McBain will appear on Die by the Blade later.
Andrej Sekera is the type of defenseman that casual fans don’t really like. It’s not because he’s a bad player (quite the opposite, in fact) but it’s because he doesn’t really have an obvious, standout talent. He has decent size but not great, he’s got a good shot but it’s no howitzer, he skates well but doesn’t have wheel of steel, and he blocks some shots but doesn’t hit very much and won’t fight.
The thing is, he has no obvious A+ skills, but everything he does is a solid B. He plays a very solid, reliable two-way game, and can pitch in on the PK very well, and the power play in an emergency. He’s got an all-around game that works very well in both ends of the ice.
Now, I said he has no obvious A+ skills, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t perform at an elite level in certain areas. Sekera has elite agility for a defenseman, turning his hips and changing direction quicker than most other blueliners. It helps him battle in the corners and avoid forecheckers, and helps him lug the puck out of his own zone.
Speaking of which, Sekera’s other elite skill is that he almost always makes the smart, quick decision in getting the puck out of the defensive zone, whether it’s an accurate pass, carrying it out himself, or simply dumping it out along the boards. Unfortunately, these aren’t immediately obvious skills, so some fans in Buffalo never warmed to Sekera despite his solid, all-around B-level talent.
He should fit in nicely in the Hurricane’s top 4 rotation, and can eat 20-22 minutes a night if need be. If you can appreciate the things he does well, then you’ll love "The Silent J" in Carolina. If you want to see someone lay down big hits, huge slappers, and drop the gloves, you’ll be disappointed. Still, I’m sad to see him go, and hope you guys enjoy him as much as we did.
I would also be remiss if I didn't post a link to a comprehensive statistical analysis of Sekera's play from Hockey Future's board. This is the article that Jamie originally tweeted out yesterday. Many of you may have read this by now, but for those that have not it is worth a read. The picture that it paints of Sekera is quite impressive.