The Carolina Hurricanes were one of the first teams to make a trade during draft weekend, when they sent Jamie McBain and the 35th overall pick in Sunday’s draft to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for defenseman Andrej Sekera. It’s not the significant blue line move that many were hoping for, but does it improve their defensive corps?
There’s little doubt that McBain had a pretty poor season for the Hurricanes, as did most of their blue line in 2013. He finished the year with only eight points. He’s flashed some offensive upside as a defenseman, with seasons of 30 and 27 points, but hasn’t finished with a plus rating in any of his three full seasons.
Despite the fact that he was inconsistent, he was the type of guy that the Hurricanes would throw out there in any situation. But at the same time, he was never terribly consistent in his own end, despite his skill on the offensive end. Sekera isn’t the same type of defenseman, but could be the type that the Hurricanes need.
Sekera isn’t quite as big as McBain, which means he doesn’t bring that same type of physical game to the mix that McBain was capable of bringing. But he is capable of logging big minutes, having played over 21 minutes per game with the Sabres last season. Like McBain, he’s capable of time on special teams as well.
However, he’s not likely going to see too much time on the power play, but could be used on the penalty kill. He averaged about a minute per game with the man advantage, and was fourth among defenseman with 1:51 per game while a man down. He doesn’t do anything exceptionally well, but is very solid and steady.
The Hurricanes are trying to become a stronger club defensively, which Sekera helps them to do. They’ll lose a bit of offense from the blue line in getting rid of McBain, but Sekera does everything well, though not great. He’ll be a solid addition to the blue line, and this one has to be considered a win for the Hurricanes.