Haydn Fleury: 2018-19 By The Numbers
- Age: 22
- NHL seasons: 2
- Games Played: 20
- Scoring: zero goals, one assist, one point
- Ice Time: 12:32 all situations, 0:03 PP, 0:21 PK
- 5 on 5 stats: 51.47% CF, 56.52 GF%
Making the Grade
When a team has a glut of talented players at one position, there’s usually at least one victim of that in the form of reduced ice time and increased healthy scratches. For the Carolina Hurricanes and their loaded D corps, that player in 2018-19 was Haydn Fleury.
When Carolina picked the 22-year-old seventh overall in 2014, they probably thought he’d have worked his way into the top four by now, and wouldn’t have dropped from 67 games played his rookie season to just 20 this year. Part of that was from time missed due to a concussion, but the youngster was also a healthy scratch on multiple occasions, more due to the teams’ depth on D than anything else.
With Brett Pesce shifting to his offside alongside Jaccob Slavin and Calvin de Haan to accommodate Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk and Trevor van Riemsdyk on the right side, there simply wasn’t room for Fleury in the lineup. When he did play, he played sparingly at just 12:32 per game, down over four minutes from last year.
While Fleury did play more in the postseason, dressing in nine of the team’s 15 games due to injuries (at different times) to Calvin de Haan and Trevor van Riemsdyk, he only played more than nine minutes once, a postseason high of 15:37 in a blowout loss to Boston in game two of the Eastern Conference Final. Fleury’s ice time hit rock bottom at 3:31 in a game three that saw him take maybe one or two shifts.
Fleury’s underlying numbers this year were solid; he was more a victim of circumstance with the Canes’ depth on defense. He’s got an argument for more playing time moving forward, but the question is where that will be.
Fleury’s entry-level contract is up and he’s a restricted free agent. He shouldn’t be too difficult to re-sign, but the question becomes if the team has room for him in the lineup. Fleury bounced back and forth between the Canes and Checkers this season, but that will no longer be an option going forward as he’d require waivers, and another team would certainly claim a former top-10 pick yet to celebrate his 23rd birthday.
If the Canes opt to trade from a position of strength and deal one of Faulk, Pesce or Hamilton for a forward, it either takes Pesce out of the equation on the left side or shifts him back to the right, paving the way for Fleury to at least be a lineup regular.
However; if the Canes opt to keep all of the aforementioned blueliners (Don Waddell said at exit interviews he wanted to extend Faulk’s contract), Fleury could be the odd man out, and Waddell and Co. could trade his rights rather than extend his contract. Elliotte Friedman raised this possibility in his latest edition of 31 thoughts.
Fleury’s season is actually still going, as he rejoined the Checkers after the Canes’ season ended; Charlotte opens the Calder Cup Final against the Chicago Wolves Saturday at Bojangles Coliseum.
Haydn Fleury put up a solid performance in 2018-19, doing the best he could in the face of an injury and a logjam in front of him. Whether or not he’ll be a Hurricane in 2019-20 is one of the more underrated questions facing the team this offseason.
How do you grade Haydn Fleury’s 2018-19 season?
This poll is closed
A - Outstanding performance
B - Above average performance
C - Average performance
D - Below average performance
F - Significantly below average performace