Jalen Chatfield 2021-22 By The Numbers
- Age: 26
- NHL Seasons: 2
- Scoring: NHL — 3 Assists, 3 Points in 16 Games Played | AHL — 6 Goals, 12 Assists, 18 Points in 44 Games Played
- Playoff Scoring: NHL — N/A | AHL — 2 Goals, 6 Assists, 8 Points in 18 Games Played
- Advances Statistics: 58.82 CF%, 60.50 xGF%, 53.85 GF%
- Average TOI: 14:22 ES, 0:00 PP, 0:22 SH
- Contract Status: 2 Years Remaining at $762,500 AAV
After four seasons in the Vancouver Canucks organization — three spent entirely with their then-AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets, and one spent entirely with the Canucks, albeit mostly on the taxi squad — Jalen Chatfield’s signing with the Hurricanes in July 2021 seemed to be all about minor-league depth.
While Chatfield needed to pass through waivers to be assigned to the AHL, there never seemed to be any concern about losing him. His 17 points through 142 AHL games, combined with his relatively lackluster NHL resume, didn’t scream out as Chatfield being the type of player who would be looking to fill a bigger role.
As the meme goes, though, Chatfield took that personally, and immediately established himself as a leader on the blue line in the AHL. Skating alongside Jesper Sellgren, Chatfield played a very smart two-way game, responsible defensively while also chipping in on offense at an unprecedented rate for his career, even recording goals in three consecutive games early in the season.
Leivo finds Jalen Chatfield attacking with speed and what a shot to give Chicago a 3 goal lead in Game 3 pic.twitter.com/8jw74LxFrw— Andrew Rinaldi (@FPHWolves) June 23, 2022
Chatfield’s explosive speed is one of his biggest assets, and it’s what makes him such a handful for opponents. Launching a breakaway while Chatfield is on the ice is a challenge, as he’s absolutely got the speed to catch up with opponents, and the hockey IQ to shut down the attempt without taking a penalty.
Throughout the season, Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky repeatedly cited Chatfield as one of the team’s best defensemen, and that was even more clear during the playoffs, where he played major minutes in key games, shutting down the potent offense of the Wolves’ opponents.
Chatfield played 16 games with the Hurricanes this season and never looked out of place in his depth role. There seemed to be little adjustment needed from him as he got accustomed to play at the next level and overall looked much stronger than he did during his stint with the Canucks.
At this point, Chatfield has legitimately entered the conversation as someone who should be considered for a role on the Hurricanes in the 2022-23 season. A strong training camp can help bolster his chances. His breakout performance in the AHL, as well as the Calder Cup now on his resume, could attract the attention of other teams, making Chatfield more difficult to slide through on waivers. The Hurricanes may have a tough decision to make next season, but Chatfield has done everything in his power to land himself a spot in the NHL next year.
How would you grade Jalen Chatfield’s 2021-22 NHL season?
This poll is closed
A - Outstanding Performance
B - Above Average Performance
C - Average Performance
D - Below Average Performance
F - Significantly Below Average Performance