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Calgary Flames 2019-20 player profile: Noah Hanifin

August 8, 2019, 10:59 AM ET [12 Comments]
Todd Cordell
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With next to nothing happening in the hockey world this month, I thought it'd be as good of a time as any to profile members of the Calgary Flames.

I'll be commenting on their performances last season as well as projected role and expectations moving forward.

I kicked things off with Elias Lindholm so, naturally, I'm going to shift my focus to the other big piece acquired in that trade, Noah Hanifin.

Counting stats: 80 games played, 33 points (five goals, 28 assists), 20:46 average time on ice

5v5 underlyings: 1.05 points/60, -1.59 CF% Rel, -4.53 GF% Rel, -.54 xGF% Rel, 1.017 PDO

2018-19 review: Hanifin's first season as an undisputed top-4 defender has to be considered a success. There were some hiccups, particularly early on when Travis Hamonic was injured and Hanifin had to play without him, but the good definitely out-weighed the bad on aggregate. Though his underlyings were negative relative to the team without him – it's tough to be positive when Mark Giordano plays 24 dominant minutes per game – he still posted strong on-ice numbers. With Hanifin on the ice at 5v5, the Flames controlled 53% of the shot attempts, 53% of the expected goals, and ~52.5% of the actual goals. You happily take those numbers from a 2nd pairing defender. Hanifin's point total also increased for the third consecutive year, albeit only by one.

Fun fact(s): No Flames defender to skate a regular shift on the PK did a better job at suppressing shot attempts, scoring chances, and expected goals than Noah Hanifin. Despite playing almost 200 more minutes in 2018-19 than 2017-18, Hanifin attempted ~100 fewer shots.

2019-20 outlook: T.J. Brodie might be traded. Rasmus Andersson might claim a spot on the top pairing. Juuso Valimaki and, perhaps, Oliver Kylington may carve out full-time roles on defense. None of that matters to Noah Hanifin, I don't think. He's still almost certainly going to pair with Travis Hamonic at even-strength, skate a regular shift on the PK, and be used occasionally on PP2. I think Hanifin is likely to hover around 30 points and 50-52% in key on-ice metrics once again, although Hanifin's age (22) still leaves room for optimism he can take another step.

numbers via naturalstattrick.com and hockey-reference.com

Recent posts:

2019 player profile: ​Elias Lindholm

​Top-5 wingers in the Western Conference?​

​Top-5 centers in the Western Conference?​

Are the Flames eying Alex Petrovic?

Flames (smartly) buyout Michael Stone

Taking stock of the Pacific Division

On David Rittich's two-year extension

On Sam Bennett's two-year extension

On the Milan Lucic trade

Potential landing spots for T.J. Brodie
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