Who on the Carolina Hurricanes is All-Star material? I guess it boils down to the definition of “star.” In recent years, Justin Faulk has been a standout offensive defenseman who separated himself from the roster in the first half of the season, earning the nod onto the Metropolitan Division squad. However, with his underperforming first-half of the season, there are several other standout performers in their own right for the Hurricanes.
Within the 11-man roster for the Metropolitan Division, there are six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders. The Hurricanes are known for their defensive talent, but they have some offense that’s stepping up this year, too.
It is important to choose carefully because $1,000,000 is on the line in a star-powered, nail-biting, edge of your seat, 3-on-3 contest.
Who will get the call to represent the Canes in Tampa?
Skinner leads the team with 12 goals and shots on goals with 120. He ranks just 31st in the Metro with 22 points, but he is 16th in goals, ranking higher than Taylor Hall, an All-Star favorite to represent the New Jersey Devils. There have been cases made for Jake Voracek and Evgeny Kuznetsov, but the Capitals already have their shoo-in all star in Alex Ovechkin and Shayne Gostisbehere could top the selections for the D for Philly. The only case against Skinner is he has fewer points overall than Kuznetsov and Voracek, who could bring more assists and playmaking ability rather than firepower.
In his first two seasons, Hanifin totaled all of eight goals. In 32 games this season, he has six and is tied with the likes of P.K. Subban and Shea Weber in goals and points. All six of his goals this season have been scored at even strength, where he totaled just five in his first two seasons. Those six goals rank him 9th currently among defensemen. Hanifin has also been an adequate quarterback on the power play and could be a reliable man on the Metro back end with his speed.
Have you seen his performance in the shootout? By far, Slavin has been a complete defenseman for this team. Last season, he surprised us with his dazzling finish in the shootout and has shown some depth in his repertoire as well. He’s defensively sound and is usually the lone d-man to start for the Hurricanes in overtime. The biggest downfall for Slavin, though, is he hasn’t put up the numbers that are necessarily worthy of a spot on the All-Star squad.
It took him a little while to get going, but the second year Finn has 23 points, tied for second on the team with Justin Williams. His consistency through the beginning of the season is what could keep him out of the selection process, as he didn’t register a goal in his first 15 games.
Staal is an interesting case. The last time he was considered a “star” was when he played in the Young Stars game in 2007. In his time with the Hurricanes, he’s only had one multi-goal game, which came this season, despite tallying three hat tricks in his time with the Penguins. This season has seen him trending upward, culminating when he batted a puck out of mid-air for a goal in the game against Columbus. He is currently 54% at the faceoff dot, which could give him a good tactical case to help the team in possession.
Who gets the call?
Offensively, Jeff Skinner has the best chance with his constant finding the back of the net, but he could face some challenges to being selected with the offensive firepower on other teams in the division. Defensively, it’s hard to choose between the two, but given the handles and abilities of Noah Hanifin, it’s hard not to say he’s not heating up at the right time and getting things done on the score sheet. Overall, the Metro Division isn’t as strong on the defensive side, and Hanifin has shown a scoring touch that will add versatility to the squad.
You make the call: who should be the Canes’ All-Star rep?
This poll is closed