The Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in Game One of their Stanley Cup Qualifier. Two young players who stood out for them were Andrei Svechnikov (2nd overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft) and Martin Necas (12th overall in 2017). Necas was credited with the third goal of the game, it hit off Rangers defenseman Marc Staal’s skate and sailed past Henrik Lundqvist to give his team some breathing room.
“We weren’t 100% that he was playing,” said Hurricanes head coach, Rod Brind’Amour. “He had a long layoff. He had some rust early in the first period. He has a lot of talent and skill, and he got that goal. He has room to get better.”
What makes Necas such a good player is his speed, his hands, and his vision. He could be the next great center in the league, something the Hurricanes need, he played over 14 minutes and was 1-2 on face-offs on the wing. He has never been afraid to play down low, and that’s a big reason why he will get more playoff goals as time goes on.
He’s the ninth Hurricanes player to score a goal in his NHL postseason debut and he’s only 21.
Svechnikov was one of those nine players with a goal in his postseason debut. He had two goals in his debut in Game 1 vs. Washington last year. This year it’s a more well-rounded Svechnikov. He’s a real force on the penalty kill crushing players in the corner on his short time out there. He’s listed at 6-2, 195 pounds (I suspect he’s a bit heavier since the pause), it’s scary to think he will get stronger since he’s only 20! The Russian assisted on the Sebastian Aho goal. He made a beautiful, hard pass that was re-directed past Lundqvist. He had another grade-A scoring chance in the first period as well. He had three shots on goal in over 17 minutes of play.
Svechnikov took some hits and registered three hits too. His coach talked about his young players saying this:
“The ones that want to get better and work on getting better continue to get better.”
Let’s see what these youngsters continue to do and how that may fuel the Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.