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About Last Season: Jani Hakanpaa Performance Review and Grade

A midseason acquisition that brought physicality to the blue line, Jani Hakanpaa made a big impact in his short time with the Canes.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Five Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

Jani Hakanpaa 2020-21 Season By The Numbers

  • Age: 29
  • NHL Seasons: 2
  • Scoring: 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points in 57 games (2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points in 15 games with Canes)
  • Other Stats: 195 hits, 62 shots blocked, 14 penalties, 5 penalties drawn (43 hits, 16 shots blocked, 2 penalties, 0 penalties drawn with Canes)
  • Advanced Numbers (with Canes): 46.58 CF%, 45.26 SCF%, 56.25 GF%, 44.96 xG%
  • Average TOI (with Canes): 14:45 ES, 0:04 PP, 1:32 SH
  • Contract Status: Signed three-year, $1.5 million AAV contract with the Dallas Stars this offseason

The Carolina Hurricanes hit the trade market midseason, looking for another right-handed defenseman to play behind Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce on that right side.

The answer came in the form of Anaheim Ducks imposing blue liner Jani Hakanpaa, who the Canes acquired in exchange for Haydn Fleury on deadline day, April 12. Hakanpaa joined the Hurricanes for the homestretch, playing in the team’s final 15 regular season games before being in the lineup for all 11 playoff games.

Hakanpaa, a massive 6-foot-5 force on the blue line, provided the Canes with some physicality and a defensive-first mindset that the team needed, and his short tenure in a Carolina sweater went relatively well.

Hakanpaa, who obviously didn’t light up the scoresheet, did however score in just his second game with the Canes back in April, sniping one in to help the Canes top Nashville at home in PNC Arena.

He scored again a few weeks later in an overtime loss to the Dallas Stars, Hakanpaa’s new team, but it was what Hakanpaa did off the scoresheet that helped him fit into the team and make an impact on Canes’ fans, who tended to love the big man’s physicality and aggression defensively.

For the most part, Hakanpaa provided the Canes with exactly what they needed and expected from him. He finished 12th on the Canes in hits, playing in just 15 games with the team, and also blocked more shots than a good chunk of the roster.

He finished 0.9 defensive point shares for the Canes, again a solid number considering the 15 games (Jaccob Slavin led the team with 4.4 in 52 games, with Hakanpaa’s 56-game Canes DPS pace at 3.36).

He wasn’t here for a long time, but he was here for a good time. A midseason rental, exchanged in a trade for a fan favorite young blue liner, Hakanpaa made the most of his time in a Hurricanes sweater, getting the opportunity to play in the postseason for the first time in his young career.


How would you grade Jani Hakanpaa’s 2020-21 season?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    A - outstanding performance
    (20 votes)
  • 33%
    B - above average performance
    (97 votes)
  • 50%
    C - average performance
    (147 votes)
  • 9%
    D - below average performance
    (27 votes)
  • 0%
    F - significantly below average performance
    (1 vote)
292 votes total Vote Now