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About Last Season: Final Grades for the 2018-19 Hurricanes

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It’s amazing what a successful season does for the year-end grades.

Jamie Kellner

The Carolina Hurricanes’ playoff run made the 2018-19 season, in the eyes of many, a successful one. With that in mind, you’d expect the annual team report card to reflect that, and for the most part, it did just that.

Our annual season review series wrapped up just before the draft, and now that all the polls have closed, it’s time to take a look at how you graded each member of the Hurricanes. We followed our usual procedure: adding the votes to a spreadsheet to calculate a GPA for each player, sorting them, and put them in an article just like this one for you to peruse. The only change we made this year was adding polls for the coaches and front office (note: because of how the table creator works, they’ll be listed as players).

The criteria is the same as in past years: players are graded who played at least 10 games with the Hurricanes and were still somewhere in the system at the end of the season. (Which means no Victor Rask grade this year. Sorry to disappoint.) Let’s take a look at this year’s grades:

2018-19 Hurricanes Final Grades

Player GPA Grade A B C D F Total votes
Player GPA Grade A B C D F Total votes
Brind’Amour, Rod 3.905 A 124 13 0 0 0 137
Slavin, Jaccob 3.902 A 351 34 2 0 0 387
Bales, Mike 3.807 A- 99 17 3 0 0 119
Teravainen, Teuvo 3.794 A- 346 90 0 0 0 436
McElhinney, Curtis 3.789 A- 273 66 3 0 0 342
Williams, Justin 3.774 A- 286 72 5 0 0 363
Aho, Sebastian 3.761 A- 394 109 2 0 2 507
Pesce, Brett 3.631 A- 162 84 2 0 1 249
Niederreiter, Nino 3.486 B+ 210 183 11 1 0 405
Martinook, Jordan 3.455 B+ 173 137 22 0 0 332
Mrazek, Petr 3.425 B+ 247 287 10 1 1 546
Waddell, Don 3.365 B+ 51 70 5 0 0 126
Svechnikov, Andrei 3.346 B+ 149 197 20 1 0 367
Dundon, Tom 3.177 B+ 40 66 18 0 0 124
Staal, Jordan 3.160 B 86 161 40 0 0 287
Chynoweth, Dean 3.099 B 31 60 20 0 0 111
Hamilton, Dougie 3.056 B 77 321 46 3 0 447
Daniels, Jeff 2.940 B 29 56 28 4 0 117
Foegele, Warren 2.854 B 55 184 101 2 0 342
McGinn, Brock 2.833 B- 37 260 93 5 0 395
de Haan, Calvin 2.824 B- 31 187 74 3 1 296
McKegg, Greg 2.818 B- 34 184 79 5 0 302
Faulk, Justin 2.809 B- 32 212 78 7 1 330
Wallmark, Lucas 2.809 B- 32 199 83 5 0 319
van Riemsdyk, Trevor 2.640 B- 17 112 77 7 1 214
Maenalanen, Saku 2.596 B- 13 187 133 9 0 342
Bishop, Clark 2.324 C+ 5 87 139 15 1 247
Ferland, Micheal 2.281 C+ 27 148 202 68 4 449
Fleury, Haydn 1.858 C 1 42 239 87 5 374

Some notes and thoughts on the grades:

  • Last year, we had two A’s. This year...we had two A’s. Where we saw the biggest difference was in the mid-pack players, with a ton of B’s across the board. In fact, only three players graded below a B- this season. Last season, half the team was below that mark.
  • The player with the most votes might come as a bit of a surprise: it was Petr Mrazek, who had 546 votes on his poll. (And I can promise they weren’t all Flyingonmybroomstick!) The only other player above 500 votes was Sebastian Aho, at 507. Aho also had the highest number of “A” votes, at 394.
  • Pause for a moment and take a look at Jaccob Slavin, who had the highest GPA of any player in the three years we’ve done this, a shade over 3.9. 387 people voted on his poll, and only 36 didn’t give him an A. It was remarkable...
  • ...and yet, he still trailed Rod Brind’Amour, who bested Slavin by three one-thousandths of a point.
  • Slavin and Brett Pesce notwithstanding, this was the second straight season that forwards, generally, scored higher than defensemen. Four of the seven defensemen finished with a B- or worse. Could it be that the groupthink has a subconscious bias against blueliners? I’m not sure, but it’s interesting to note.
  • I know we’ve only been doing this for three years, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s been a long time since the Hurricanes had two goalies who graded out with an A- and a B+.
  • It’s sometimes hard to see when changes are happening right before your eyes, and this year’s grades lay bare just how much turnover the Hurricanes underwent this past season. Only 12 players who were graded last year had grades for this year as well. Of those 12, just three saw their grade slip, and the other nine saw theirs increase.
  • A shoutout to Justin Faulk, who had the biggest jump of any player, nearly 1.7 grade points: from a D (1.110) last year to a B- (2.809) this year.

If you’re intrigued, here are the GPA cutoffs for each letter grade:

Last year, we published this article on June 15, and my closing thought was “hopefully next year [the grades] will be delayed on account of a playoff run.” Well, it’s July 19 and we’re just now getting around to it, so mission accomplished. As always, thank you for participating in our grading this year, and we look forward to doing it again next season. If the Hurricanes can replicate this year’s grades again next season, I think we’ll all be very happy with how the season turns out.