Eastern Edge: First Seasons in New Locales, Carolina Hurricanes Edition

Brennan Des

2022-05-31

This week's Eastern Edge is the second part of a series we started last week, looking at how players performed in new surroundings this season. Throughout this series, we'll discuss players that joined new teams ahead of the 2021-2022 regular season, as well as those that were traded during the year. It's timely that this week's installment covers three Hurricanes, who were just eliminated by the Rangers on Monday. Last week’s can be viewed here.

Frederik Andersen

The Danish netminder had an excellent debut campaign in Carolina. He was one of the league's best goaltenders this season, posting a sparkling 35-14-3 record, 2.17 GAA and .922 save percentage. Unfortunately, he suffered a lower-body injury in mid-April which ended his regular season early and kept him sidelined for all 14 of Carolina's playoff games. Andersen dealt with a significant knee injury last season, so there is some concern this could be a chronic issue that hinders him going forward. Obviously, there's no official word that this injury is related to last year's knee problem, but we should get more information now that the Hurricanes have been eliminated from the playoffs.

Injury concerns aside, I wouldn't target Andersen in next year's fantasy drafts. Assuming he's healthy for the start of next year, he'll be a top target in all formats based on his strong 2021-2022 regular season. Goaltending is rarely consistent from season to season, and I'm not eager to spend a top draft pick on such an unpredictable commodity. As I've said before, I'd rather use my top picks on skaters, who tend to show more season-to-season consistency, and snag an underappreciated goalie in the mid-rounds. This year, that strategy helped me build a strong offense before securing Jakob Markstrom, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Tristan Jarry in rounds 8, 12, and 15 of a 10-team league. Even if your mid-round goalies flop, it's a lot easier to stay afloat when your mid-round picks struggle, than when your early-round picks struggle.

Tony DeAngelo

The 26-year-old defenseman was productive in his first season with the Hurricanes, tallying 51 points in 64 appearances. That translates to 65 points over 82 games – a similar rate to the one he posted during his 2019-2020 breakout with the Rangers. In both that season and this one, DeAngelo's overall numbers were bolstered by strong power-play production. He tallied 20 points with the man advantage this year, enjoying a 68% share of Carolina's total power-play time. Currently a restricted free agent, DeAngelo needs a new contract for next season. I think he'd be inclined to stay with Carolina since the Hurricanes were one of a few teams willing to take a chance on him this year, despite well-documented character issues. From the team's perspective, DeAngelo fills the archetypes of offensive defenseman and power-play quarterback – roles which aren't easily filled by the team's other blueliners. The