Noah Hanifin, Defense
2020-21 Stats: 47 GP, 4 G, 11 A, 15 Pts, 18 PIM, -2
53.03 CF%, 55.20 xGF%, 1.23 CFRel%, 3.95 xGFRel%
2019-20 Grade: B
2018-19 Grade: B+
MGMacGillivray: A For the first time in his career, I think Noah Hanifin really showed the type of defender that he had projected to be since going 5th overall to Carolina in 2015. While early in the year it seemed as though a lot of his improvement came simply from playing with Chris Tanev who may have been the perfect partner for him, he also really showed a lot of development when he was paired away from Tanev later in the season. As much as his overall play improved defensively, I think the biggest improvement for Hanifin was that he did a good job of eliminating some of the mental mistakes we had seen in previous seasons and really became a reliable top pairing guy. While his point totals took a hit, he actually was really coming around before his season-ending injury with 12 points in his final 23 games.
MarkParkinson14: A - Hanifin’s play was an absolute revelation this season. He took that step that everyone had been waiting for and his pairing with Chris Tanev was the best blue line setup the Flames had all season. I don’t think anyone expected Noah Hanifin to be as good as he was this season as most of the hype in the off season centred around Rasmus Andersson and Juuso Valimaki’s first full NHL campaign. Yet Noah Hanifin was better than both of those players and showed why the Flames were smart to hold onto him, even with his name always being tossed around in trade talk. His season ended prematurely due to a shoulder issue that required surgery, but there’s nothing that he accomplished this season that you shouldn’t like. Sure, his offence was down, but his actual defensive play was impactful and was what most people were looking forward to seeing from him.
MadelineCampbell: A - I think the guys really nailed it, so it’s truly shocking that I’m in agreement here. Hanifin was little short of a revelation for the Flames this season, and it felt like he was finally hitting that level that I was hoping and expecting to see from him when he was traded from Carolina. Development is weird and almost never linear, we know that, so even if it took Hanifin a little longer to get to this point, seeing him arrive here has been pretty sweet. His game, while not always flashy, was decidedly well-rounded, and the chemistry he showed with Tanev was a real treat. Was his season perfect? No, that would certainly be a stretch. But more often than not, he was exactly what the Flames needed him to be and provide, and that’s certainly worth something.
Final Grade: A-
What is your grade for Noah Hanifin’s 2020-21 season?
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