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About Last Season: Final Grades for the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes

The grades are in, and now it’s time for everyone to report to their homerooms to receive their report cards.

Jamie Kellner

Our annual About Last Season series allows fans to evaluate the Carolina Hurricanes in the season just ended, and each story includes a poll allowing commenters to assign a letter grade to each player’s performance. But what good are grades if you don’t get a report card at the end of the term?

After the polls close on each article, we add the votes to a spreadsheet to calculate a GPA for each player. Then, we sort them, and put them in an article just like this one for you to peruse. So, without further ado, here are this year’s grades:

About Last Season GPA Totals

Player GPA A B C D F Total votes
Player GPA A B C D F Total votes
Aho, Sebastian 3.817 288 55 0 0 2 345
Teravainen, Teuvo 3.545 242 161 10 0 2 415
Zykov, Valentin 3.453 126 135 3 0 1 265
Williams, Justin 3.204 94 145 33 1 1 274
McGinn, Brock 3.064 74 256 40 2 2 374
McKeown, Roland 2.989 30 117 29 0 1 177
Staal, Jordan 2.849 43 157 63 6 3 272
Slavin, Jaccob 2.844 52 200 94 5 1 352
Van Riemsdyk, Trevor 2.663 20 131 92 6 0 249
Pesce, Brett 2.602 14 136 88 8 3 249
Ward, Cam 2.502 37 189 181 34 3 444
Wallmark, Lucas 2.316 12 40 89 13 1 155
Dahlbeck, Klas 2.302 3 62 105 11 1 182
Lindholm, Elias 2.014 4 42 128 39 4 217
Fleury, Haydn 1.851 0 33 170 57 8 268
Skinner, Jeff 1.608 5 32 115 130 14 296
Di Giuseppe, Phil 1.593 0 8 114 73 9 204
Nordstrom, Joakim 1.232 0 7 72 111 34 224
Faulk, Justin 1.110 2 16 119 240 104 481
Stempniak, Lee 0.925 3 2 24 119 52 200
Rask, Victor 0.550 1 1 12 118 139 271
Darling, Scott 0.255 3 2 7 68 312 392

Our criteria is to grade each player who played at least 10 games with the Hurricanes during the year, and ended the season somewhere within the Canes’ system. You’ll notice there are three players missing. One, Derek Ryan, had a poll that went haywire, so we didn’t include it. Marcus Kruger technically qualified, but he was traded before we got to his assigned day, so by that time there was little point in doing an article.

And the third? Gotta be honest: I simply forgot to schedule Noah Hanifin’s review. His spot on the schedule was right around the time Bill Peters resigned, and it fell through the cracks in the midst of everything else going on at the time. So, to make it up to you, here’s a Hanifin poll:


How do you grade Noah Hanifin’s 2017-18 season?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    A - outstanding performance
    (9 votes)
  • 29%
    B - above average performance
    (98 votes)
  • 60%
    C - average performance
    (201 votes)
  • 7%
    D - below average performance
    (24 votes)
  • 0%
    F - significantly below average performance
    (1 vote)
333 votes total Vote Now

A few more news and notes:

  • Yes, there are always trolls. If you gave Sebastian Aho or Teuvo Teravainen an F, re-evaluate your life choices.
  • The most votes for a single grade for a single player probably won’t surprise you: 312 people gave Scott Darling an F. And the second-most also isn’t much of a surprise, the 288 who gave Aho an A.
  • Overall, forwards graded higher than defensemen, although there was a glut of defensemen in the B- to C range. The only regular defenseman to fall outside that range was Justin Faulk, who was the lowest-graded defenseman on the team (and, obviously, this doesn’t include Hanifin).
  • The grades, somewhat surprisingly, aren’t terrible for a non-playoff team, and may reflect the idea that tinkering around the edges is all that’s needed rather than wholesale changes. Of the 22 players graded, 15 of them finished with a C or higher, and two more - Jeff Skinner and Phil Di Giuseppe - had a C-.
  • In all, if we were grading pass/fail (generally a C- or higher is “pass”), all but five players would have passed.
  • I wouldn’t have expected this, but the players who had the most total votes were two of the elder statesmen of the team, Cam Ward at 444 and Faulk, the overall leader, at 481.
  • Players who improved the most from 2017 to 2018: Teuvo Teravainen (2.112 to 3.545), Cam Ward (1.580 to 2.502), Brock McGinn (2.301 to 3.064)
  • Players who declined the most: Lee Stempniak (2.435 to 0.925), Justin Faulk (2.241 to 1.110), Victor Rask (1.441 to 0.550)

Here’s the breakdown by grade:

  • A (outstanding performance): Sebastian Aho (A), Teuvo Teravainen (A-)
  • B (above average performance): Valentin Zykov (B+), Justin Williams (B+), Brock McGinn (B), Roland McKeown (B), Jordan Staal (B), Jaccob Slavin (B), Trevor van Riemsdyk (B-), Brett Pesce (B-), Cam Ward (B-)
  • C (average performance): Lucas Wallmark (C+), Klas Dahlbeck (C+), Elias Lindholm (C), Haydn Fleury (C), Jeff Skinner (C-), Phil Di Giuseppe (C-)
  • D (below average performance): Joakim Nordstrom (D+), Justin Faulk (D), Lee Stempniak (D-), Victor Rask (D-)
  • F (significantly below average performance): Scott Darling

One final note: I noticed a bit of grumbling in the comments about how we set the grading scale. I’m open to suggestions about how to refine the scale for next season. In 2016-17 we used a scale that was based on player expectations, which presented problems: if Sebastian Aho has a great season and you were expecting a great season, is it an A (outperformed expectations) or a C (met expectations)? So this year we went to performance in relation to average, which wasn’t perfect but was closer to what we were trying to capture.

Basically, the grades came out about the way we expected, so the captions may not matter all that much. But if you have ideas for how we should handle them in the future, feel free to share.

And, as always, thank you for participating in our evaluations, and hopefully next year they’ll be delayed on account of a playoff run.