Kicking things off in our 2023 fantasy hockey team previews is the Carolina Hurricanes out of the Metropolitan Division. They won the division last season and finished second in the league in points. They are just average at scoring goals, finishing 15th last season. This isn’t exactly great for fantasy, but they have a lot of talent at each position and can keep the puck out of their net.
This team projects to be even better this season with some key additions in the offseason. It will positively impact the fantasy value of many of the players and we will see more goals. We’ll take an in-depth look at the three positions on the Hurricanes and reveal the players with value in fantasy hockey this season.
Carolina Hurricanes Fantasy Hockey Preview
The Hurricanes didn’t have any point-per-game player and their power play was ranked in the bottom half of the league. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have any productive scorers though. Martin Necas led the way offensively in a breakout season. He led the team in points (71) and power-play points (26). The young forward also recorded a lot of shots, but doesn’t help out a ton in defensive categories like hits, blocked shots, and penalty minutes.
Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov should be right with Necas as the top fantasy producers at forward for the Hurricanes. Svechnikov should be ranked the highest due to his pure goal-scoring talent, physicality, and shot volume. He and Aho missed time last season, so they didn’t compete with Necas in certain categories.
Michael Bunting is a new addition to the forward group in Carolina and he instantly brings fantasy value. Whatever he did last season offensively alongside Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner in Toronto likely won’t be matched. Bunting should get top-six duties and be able to produce at five-on-five while adding physicality and grit. He might not get the call for the top power-play unit though. But he didn’t last season with the Maple Leafs and things turned out fine for him in fantasy.
Seth Jarvis should round out the top six and will likely be playing on the top line again. He had a drop in production from year 1 to 2, but he’s a bounce-back candidate and can score. He won’t go early in drafts, but he’ll have talent to play with regardless of where he is. Plus he’ll get power-play time.
The rest of the Hurricanes’ forwards might be streaming options at times this season, but none worthy of mentioning off the hop here.
The Hurricanes may very well have the best defensive group in the NHL this season from top to bottom. While this should do well for them, it might negatively impact the production. Brent Burns did well on the power play and as the top right-shot defenseman, but he now has some competition. Tony DeAngelo was the power-play quarterback the season before Burns was acquired, and he did well in that role. This might ultimately allow the Hurricanes to alter their units and play both power-play units more equally. Burns will put up points regardless, even at his age. DeAngelo might not go as high or do as well as if he were the top producer on the back-end. But since the Hurricanes plan on being more impactful offensively, he’ll do fine.
Dmitry Orlov might have had a huge fantasy impact once the Boston Bruins acquired him, but normally he isn’t that type of player. He may even be slotted in on the third pairing this season behind Jaccob Slavin and Brady Skjei so as to not mess with the chemistry of last season. Other than Burns and Deangelo, I don’t think any other members of the defense is worth really looking at other than Orlov who is unpredictable. They have a great group, but not exactly for fantasy hockey.
The goalies of the Hurricanes aren’t like most teams. They nearly split the games evenly between Frederik Andersen, Antti Raanta, and Pyotr Kochetkov last season. This will negatively impact the value of Andersen, the starter, but positively impact the other two. Injuries play a big part in the Hurricanes’ goaltending, that is why they are more comfortable running with three capable ones in their system.
Kochetkov will start in the AHL since he is still exempt from waivers but will get the call and get in games once one of the two veterans goes down to injury. Andersen should get the most starts as he did last season (34) and everybody should get many more wins than losses. The Hurricanes shut teams down defensively, so they don’t allow a ton of shots. This lowers the save percentage of their goalies even though they don’t allow many goals. But this also raises the chance of shutouts. Andersen is worth drafting and having, but not as your first goalie. Raanta is worth it as a third goalie for your fantasy team, and Kochetkov is worth waiting on until he gets the callup.
Carolina is a pretty good team to look at in fantasy. They win so their players do well overall. Stay tuned for the next team in the series, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Make sure to check out all of our Fantasy Hockey Team Previews as they roll out over the coming weeks!