Andrej Sekera came to the Carolina Hurricanes in a draft day trade at the 2013 NHL draft. Not much was known about the unheralded Buffalo Sabres defenseman who was buried on a bad Sabres team. The price to acquire him was fairly high – a high second round draft pick and Jamie McBain. He arrived with the expectation that he would fill a top four slot on defense. Sekera’s acquisition became even more important when the Canes learned just before the start of the season that Joni Pitkanen would be unable to return from the foot injury that he had sustained the previous season.
Shortly into the 2013-14 season, “Reggie,” as he became known to Canes fans, made it clear that the trade was a complete steal for the Hurricanes. He quickly found his way to the top defense pairing where he and Justin Faulk had instant chemistry. Sekera provided 21-year old Justin Faulk a stable situation and defense partner. That season he did absolutely everything ranging from power play to penalty kill and from scoring to blocking shots. His highlight reel from that season included both personal sacrifice blocking shots and also a wild play circling the offensive zone with the puck until he finally scored. When the 2013-14 season had ended Sekera had chipped in 11 goals and 33 assists in 74 games and averaged a team-leading 23:41 of ice time. In my opinion, he was the team’s most valuable player that season and also contributed significantly to the development of rising Canes star Justin Faulk.
In the 2014-15 season, Andrej Sekera was again paired with Justin Faulk. In that season, he collected two goals and 19 assists in 57 games before being traded to the Los Angeles Kings at the trade deadline. Because of his ascension in a Canes uniform to solid first pairing defender, his departure netted the Canes a first round draft pick and a recent second round draftee to help build for the future.
Andrej Sekera collected 13 goals and 50 assists in 131 games over two seasons with the Hurricanes including his great 2013-14 season. But his greatest legacy for Canes fans might prove to be his role in helping a young Justin Faulk develop into the player that he is at such a young age.