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About Last Season: Jordan Staal Performance Review and Grade

It was a difficult personal season for the co-captain, but you’d have never known it by his play on the ice.

Jamie Kellner

Jordan Staal: 2017-18 By The Numbers

  • Age: 29
  • NHL Seasons: 12
  • Scoring: 19 goals - 27 assists - 46 points
  • Ice Time: 19:15 all situations, 14:55 ES, 2:36 PP, 1:44 PK
  • 5 on 5 Stats: 54.2% CF, 49.5% GF
  • Contract Status: Completed 5th year of a 10-year, $6 million AAV contract

Making the Grade

The contract for Jordan Staal sometimes causes some consternation. How can a team - especially one on a budget - justify paying $6 million per annum for a player who has cracked 50 points just once in his twelve-year career, whose career high in goals came in his rookie season, and who is widely considered a good defensive player but one whose value doesn’t necessarily show up on the score sheet?

Staal is always going to be a bit of a confounding player. Hockey analysis circa 2018 frowns on judging players by nebulous terms like determination, commitment and leadership, but Staal brings those certain unquantifiable traits to the locker room day after day. In a room where members of the Carolina Hurricanes are guilty to varying degrees of taking nights off, Staal brought it every night, and at no time was that more evident than the three games Staal missed in late February.

The terminal diagnosis of Staal’s infant daughter was a burden he carried in silence all season. Even his teammates were unaware of the gravity of the situation that Staal faced. Incredibly, he carried on, doing his job as if nothing were wrong. He earned a spot as a Masterton Trophy finalist in recognition of his commitment, but he’ll be the first to tell anyone that he didn’t do it for recognition; he did it because he took the letter on his chest seriously.

Staal was one of the only players who could be found, win or lose, in the locker room after every game. As he’s done in every full season since he joined the Hurricanes in 2012, he topped 40 points, was in the high 20s in assists, and knocked on the door of scoring 20 goals. He was on the ice for a shade under 20 minutes per night, and won 56.6% of his faceoffs, the third-highest mark of his career.

Staal is as consistent as they come in this league, and when the puck drops in October with Rod Brind’Amour behind the bench and Justin Williams very likely inheriting the captaincy, there’s no doubt that Staal will be the same player he’s always been. His two-way play is the engine that powers the Hurricanes, and should be for years to come.

Exit Interview


How do you grade Jordan Staal’s 2017-18 season?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    A - outstanding performance
    (43 votes)
  • 57%
    B - above average performance
    (157 votes)
  • 23%
    C - average performance
    (63 votes)
  • 2%
    D - below average performance
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    F - significantly below average performance
    (3 votes)
272 votes total Vote Now