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About Last Season: Noah Hanifin Performance Review and Grade

Carolina’s other 19-year-old completed his second year on the blue line. Did he continue to progress or fall into a sophomore slump?

Jamie Kellner

Noah Hanifin: 2016-17 By the Numbers

  • Age: 19
  • NHL Seasons: 2
  • Games Played: 81
  • Scoring: 4 goals, 25 assists, 29 points
  • Ice Time per Game: 17:55 in all situations, 15:51 ES, 2:01 PP, 0:02 PK
  • 5-on-5 Stats: 50.87% CF, 44.8% GF
  • Contract Status: Completed second year of three-year, $925,000 entry-level contract.

Making the Grade

The excitement of Hanifin joining the team so soon after his impressive, albeit short, collegiate career was cause for excitement two seasons ago. He performed admirably, putting up 22 points and playing just shy of 18 minutes per game.

This past season was where his merit was truly tested, and though he had his struggles, Hanifin did show improvement. Statistically speaking, it was marginal, but it was there — his 22 points became 29 in year two, and his ice time rose one second on average. Playing with an assortment of defensive partners throughout the first three quarters of the season did him no favors, but his important numbers began to rise after a steady dose of Brett Pesce as a partner and a newfound top-four role in the absence of Ron Hainsey.

The difference in Hanifin’s play after Hainsey was traded to the Penguins is stark, and revealing. Instead of being saddled with roster filler and no longer the fifth man in a largely four-man rotation, Hanifin was trusted with consistent, important minutes. The numbers are remarkable; in the final six weeks of the season Hanifin improved his statistics across the board, matching his scoring output from the preceding four months.

Noah Hanifin before and after

Statistic Before 2/23 After 2/23
Statistic Before 2/23 After 2/23
GP 55 (68%) 26 (32%)
Points 2 – 13 – 15 2 – 12 – 14
Pts/60 0.97 1.61
TOI (EV) 14:36 18:29
TOI (PP) 02:14 01:34
TOI 18:52 20:07
+/- -19 even
CF% 49.7% 53.0%
GF% 40.0% 55.6%
PDO 97 100.4

He still played north of an average of two minutes on the power play over the full season, and didn’t see more than a few seconds of PK time per game. But Hanifin’s greatest strides were made in metrics not found on the scoresheet. There were games and stretches that saw him seem a step behind the play, or just a bit too far off his mark on a goal against, but throughout the season his confidence began to perk up.

Once he was playing regular minutes alongside Pesce (or Justin Faulk), it was clear that Hanifin was feeling like his “fifth-overall draft pick” self again. His rollercoaster season undoubtedly peaked with his game-winning goal in overtime against the Columbus Blue Jackets during a stellar March streak to keep the Hurricanes alive in the playoff race. That type of play is what Hanifin was drafted so high for, and with a similar role next year, it’s not outlandish to expect a bit more of the same from #5.

Exit Interview


How do you grade Noah Hanifin’s 2016-17 performance?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    A - significantly outperformed expectations
    (9 votes)
  • 26%
    B - outperformed expectations
    (89 votes)
  • 60%
    C - met expectations
    (201 votes)
  • 9%
    D - underperformed expectations
    (32 votes)
  • 0%
    F - significantly underperformed expectations
    (2 votes)
333 votes total Vote Now