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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.
80 games played, 33 points (five goals, 28 assists), 20:46 average time on ice
1.05 points/60, -1.59 CF% Rel, -4.53 GF% Rel, -.54 xGF% Rel, 1.017 PDO
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.
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.
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
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