Today’s Daily Cup of Joe does sort of the opposite taking current young Canes players and looking forward to what next step v2.0 might add.
V1.0 of Andrei Svechnikov for 2018-19 is a skilled depth scorer whose game was still really raw in terms of two-way play and every shift consistency.
V2.0 of Andrei Svechnikov is arriving before our eyes right now. He leads the team in scoring with 27 points and a 92-point pace for 82 games. As significant as the raw numbers is how his game has expanded in only his second season in the NHL. In addition to finishing which was probably top of the list of his skill sets when drafted, he has shown an equal knack for playmaking in 2019-20. The physical element of his game also continues to grow.
So what might still be on the list of possible additions for a max v2.0 Svechnikov? Three things I think. First, elite scorers in the NHL must be able to score in numerous ways. Svechnikov’s ability to beat goalies cleanly from distance in 2019-20 is a huge step in that direction. The one area that stands out as still having upside is his ability to finish when in alone off the rush. Svechnikov has a good knack for finding breakaway chances but is still figuring out how to beat NHL goalies in this regard. Second, elite players do not just produce points. They have they ability to take over games. Svechnikov is just on the cusp in that regard. Finally, though he has made step-wise improvement, there is still room to improve his shift to shift consistency defensively maybe somewhat similar to Teuvo Teravainen whose improvement in this regard was profiled in yesterday’s article.
V1.0 of Martin Necas that we are seeing right now is capable NHL depth scorer with enough skill to play on a scoring line and on the power play.
I think v2.0 of Necas will include a shift to center. I am fully on board with Necas move to wing to get him acclimated at the NHL level in a less demanding role. And I think it makes sense to stay the course for now in this regard rather than taking the risk of abandoning progress. But that said, I still land right where I started with Martin Necas which is to say that he has a perfect skill set to be a top 6 playmaking center and be part of making the Canes two deep with pretty equal scoring lines. When exactly that transition could occur is uncertain, but I really think part of v2.0 for Necas is a move to the center position.
His skating ability in terms of straight line speed but even more importantly his ability to ‘swoop’ at angles without giving up speed gives him the ability to carry the puck and create space to buy time and make passing lanes. In that regard, I think v2.0 of Necas sees his assists increase more than his goal scoring. And like Necas (and pretty much any young player), I think v2.0 for Necas includes adding a bit more strength and consistency defensively.
V1.0 of Lucas Wallmark from 2018-19 was a capable two-way center who could hold his own against the other team’s best but was somewhat limited offensively.
This has already been bandied around a couple times since Erik Haula exited the lineup with an injury and Wallmark stepped into the third line center slot, but I think v2.0 for Wallmark just needs to find a higher gear in terms of scoring production. The returns so far from a small sample size are favorable with three points in three games. My question is whether Wallmark has enough high-end of any kind in his game offensively to ever be more than a great fourth line center who can slot higher in the event of injuries. Rather than guessing, we are seeing Wallmark use his current opportunity to make a run at v2.0 right now.
What say you Canes fans?
1) What would be your short list of key additions for Andrei Svechnikov to reach a next level as a player?
2) What would be your short list of key additions for Martin Necas to reach a next level as a player?
3) Finally, what would be your short list of key additions for Lucas Wallmark to reach a next level as a player?