When you are a young first-round pick in the NHL, a lot of the time the game is handed to you on a platter. Not a lot has to be proven for you to get your time to shine in the NHL. Hanifin won’t be returning to college but could see time in the minor leagues if they don’t deem him ready. So how exactly has Hanifin done in the 10 games that he has played?
Surprisingly well actually. Many want to point to the hot rookies of the moment like McDavid, Eichel and Domi, but Hanifin is more than carrying his weight when on the ice. The former Boston College defender has only scored two points through 10 games but the output is nothing to scoff at when you dig deeply into the numbers. His PDO, which is a combination of save percentage and on ice shooting percentage, is at a staggeringly low 93%. That number always manages to work itself out somewhere close to 100% over a normal season.
His Corsi percentage is at a nice 55% mark at even strength which is outstanding for someone at the age of Hanifin. He is mostly seeing time on ice with Ryan Murphy, they are currently being played down on the third pair but have also seen power play time together. He has more than held his own during this time then. Why does their seem to be rumbles that Hanifin may not be ready?
It is a common practice for old school coaches to groom players until they are absolutely ready and Bill Peters is no exception to that rule. Having been in the Red Wings system, he has seen players sit in the minors for many years until they are deemed ready. A lot of those players aren’t Hanifin though. He was one of the more hyped players coming into last year’s draft before fading away slightly before the draft. It was a common discussion to see him said in the same breath as McDavid and Eichel.
His play supports that he should be playing with the big club, his pedigree states the same. Hanifin is going to be a star in this league and it may not be the case at the moment, but that shouldn’t deter the Canes from using him prominently this year.