Prior to the start of the 2022-2023 campaign, Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas signed a two-year, $6 million deal. The now-24-year old would proceed to turn in the best season of his young career, recording 28 goals and 43 assists to lead Carolina in points (71).
He was one of just six Hurricanes to appear in all 82 regular season contests and credited the work with his mental coach for his career year, as he focused on consistency and earning the trust of Rod Brind’Amour and the Carolina staff.
Now, as he heads into the final year of his contract before hitting restricted free agency, Necas is not concerned about putting pen to paper.
“Maybe the first time before my contract year I was thinking about it,” said Necas at the NHL European Player Media Tour. “Now, I feel like I’m a little older, more experienced, and I’m not really thinking about it. Whatever is going to come, is going to come.”
Earlier this offseason, the Hurricanes signed star forward Sebastian Aho to an eight-year extension worth $78 million, keeping the 25-year old in Raleigh for the foreseeable future.
Carolina currently has Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi locked in with long-term deals, while Necas and Seth Jarvis are due for an increased payday prior to next offseason.
For Necas however, his focus still remains on improving coming off of a career year and becoming more consistent in the postseason.
“That’s another thing is I want to take the next step in the playoffs and be more of a leader there,” said Necas.
The Hurricanes have secured three straight division titles and found themselves in the postseason the past five years, but they enter the 2023-2024 campaign with lofty expectations, as they hope to hoist the Stanley Cup in the Raleigh for the first time since 2006.
After his impressive showing during his fourth full season in Raleigh, Necas figures to be a major piece for a Carolina team that has all the parts to be the last team standing in June.
“Obviously, everybody wants to win, but, for us, we’ve been five years in a row in the playoffs, we’re going to have a good team,” said Necas. “It’s just on us how we’re going to do. We’ve got to start at camp, start game by game and just try to build our game to the playoffs [so] that we can take the Cup.”
Carolina opens up training camp later this month and will hit the ice for the first time on Sept. 26 in an exhibition contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning at PNC Arena.