Steven Lorentz By the Numbers
NHL Seasons: 2
Scoring: 8 goals, 5 assists, 13 points in 67 games
Playoff Scoring: 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points in 5 games
Advanced Statistics: 55.46 CF%, 55.89 SCF%, 52.99 xGF%, 50% GF%
Average TOI: 10:26 ES, 0:02 PP, 0:25 SH
Contract Status: Restricted Free Agent, Arbitration Eligible
Steven Lorentz was originally drafted 186th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-4, 206-pound center has had a unique path to the NHL. He bounced between the ECHL and AHL between 2017-2019 before quickly rising through the organization and becoming an NHL regular in 2020.
After breaking into the lineup last season, it was expected that he would have a larger role this season. However, those plans were derailed with the signing of Derek Stepan who was brought in to add depth and experience. His signing pushed Lorentz down from an every night player to a rotational player who was often scratched.
Despite not having a larger role with the team, Lorentz has looked more comfortable in the NHL which has equated to higher production. The production increase doesn't blow anyone away but his .69 G/60 is up over his .18 G/60 last season and his 1.25 P/60 is up over his 1.07 P/60 last season. While those numbers don't appear eye-popping, his .69 G/60 is higher than both Vincent Trocheck (.64) and Martin Necas (.61).
While the rate increases are nice, he still needs to prove that he can score double-digit goals and also provide offense through assists and hit the next tier. The Canes are a team that are looking to compete for a cup, they need players who are able to get to that next level even in the bottom six and Lorentz has struggled to shift gears.
This low production is compounded because of his lack of physicality. He is one of the biggest players on the team but he hasn’t embraced the role of using his body, something that the team needs. His 67 hits rank 13th on the team behind Seth Jarvis and fellow fourth-liner Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Both players are both smaller and have more offensive upside which is why they are in the long-term plans for the Canes.
That was his biggest issue this season, he wasn’t undeniable in any specific area which is what allowed the coaching staff to scratch him for roughly 20% of the season. Where he could excel is developing into a replacement for Nino Niederreiter. If he increases that physicality he could end up being a cheaper replacement if the team cannot re-sign the Swiss forward.
Heading into the off-season the Canes would like to keep Lorentz and it would make sense to have a short-term deal for under $2 million AAV. It is highly likely that he could make it to arbitration because the Canes have a reputation for playing hardball and Lorentz’s case would appear weak to the team.
Lorentz is a fun guy to root for and he has potential. No one would complain about seeing him out on the ice, but his inability to seize the opportunity at the NHL level to be anything more than a replacement-level player thus far has been disappointing. However, he will continue being the hardworking player that he is regardless of the role he plays.
Depending on Lorentz’s ask, the Canes also have some options within the organization that could replace Lorentz. The Canes AHL affiliate successfully won back-to-back Calder Cups. They could look at re-signing Josh Levio or Andrew Potularski at a lower rate or call up Jack Drury who had two goals in two games with the Canes this season.
How would you grade Steven Lorentz’s 2021-22 season?
This poll is closed
A - Outstanding Performance
B - Above Average Performance
C - Average Performance
D - Below Average Performance
F - Significantly Below Average