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About Last Season: Jordan Staal Performance Review and Grade

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The Canes top center proved to be the team’s best two-way player in 2016-2017.

Jamie Kellner

Jordan Staal: 2016-2017 By the Numbers

Age: 28
NHL Seasons: 11
Games Played: 75
Scoring: 16g – 29a – 45p
Ice Time: 18:39 all situations, 2:15 PP, 1:34 SH
5-on-5 Stats: 56.2% CF, 51.2% GF
Contract Status: $6 million per year through 2022-2023


Making the Grade

Jordan Staal is one of the final holdovers from Carolina Hurricanes teams of the past. Only two current players have been on the team for longer than Staal: Cam Ward and Jeff Skinner. In his fifth season with Carolina, he proved to be both one of the Canes’ best offensive players, and the best defensive forward on the team.

Despite some questions about his value to the team, he still turned in a top-five season in his career for points, even accounting for seven games missed due to a concussion. He finished tied for third on the team with 45 points and tied for second in assists with 29. This equates to .60 points per game, on par with last season. If Staal had played a full 82 games at the same rate, he would have tied Sebastian Aho with 49 points.

Staal had a solid year on the scoresheet, but where he really excelled was in his possession numbers. Over the 2016-2017 season, he registered a 56.2% CF, which is by far the best on the team, while playing the most minutes out of any forward. Staal was also one of three forwards, alongside Skinner and Lee Stempniak, who had a positive even-strength goal differential. He led the forward corps at +4, remarkable for a team that had a -21 overall goal differential.

Staal was also quietly dominant in the faceoff circle, winning 59.1% of his draws, third in the league for players with more than 400 faceoffs taken. He also led the team in shorthanded shots, shorthanded faceoff wins, and was second in shorthanded takeaways.

This season Staal recorded a career-best 12 multi-point games, none better than his four-point performance against Washington on November 12. That night he recorded one goal and three assists in a 5-1 Canes win against the Caps, their only win all season against the Metro’s top team.

While many focused on the young guns of the team like Aho or the defense, Staal was quietly churning out a great season. It’s easy to see Skinner's success because he lights the lamp, but for an all-around player like Staal, it’s a little more complicated.

At 28 years old, there is still a lot left in the tank. Staal should be looked at as a vital part of the Canes roster and serves as a leader for this team on and off the ice. With his numbers remarkably consistent year in and year out, he is a safe bet to approach 50 points and 20 goals every season.

If you want to see a true measure of his impact, in the seven games that he missed due to a concussion, the Canes went 2-3-2, in which their goals per game dipped from 2.59 to 2.00 and the goals against went up from 2.79 to 3.00. Though that doesn’t seem like much, think about losing a goal for every two games, and the team would have lost even more more one-goal games than they did.

The bottom line is that no matter which way you want to break the team and roster down, the Carolina Hurricanes are better off with Jordan Staal on the roster moving forward.


Exit Interview


Poll

How do you grade Jordan Staal’s 2016-17 season?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    A - significantly outperformed expectations
    (15 votes)
  • 31%
    B - outperformed expectations
    (92 votes)
  • 55%
    C - met expectations
    (165 votes)
  • 7%
    D - underperformed expectations
    (23 votes)
  • 0%
    F - significantly underperformed expectations
    (1 vote)
296 votes total Vote Now