Jake Guentzel CAR EDGE

NHL.com has 2024 Trade Deadline reaction with a look at the Carolina Hurricanes and the EDGE stats surrounding newly acquired forwards Jake Guentzel and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

The Carolina Hurricanes acquired two past Stanley Cup champions and NHL EDGE stats standouts in forwards Jake Guentzel from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and Evgeny Kuznetsov from the Washington Capitals on Friday to boost their own championship hopes.

Per NHL EDGE stats, Guentzel is tied for ninth in the NHL in high-danger shots on goal (88; 98th percentile) despite being limited to 50 of Pittsburgh’s 61 games this season because of injury. The 29-year-old, who won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2017, also is among the leaders in high-danger goals (14; 93rd percentile), mid-range shots on goal (54; 90th percentile) and mid-range goals (six; 85th percentile) this season.

Last season, Guentzel played 78 of 82 games and also was among the best in high-danger shots on goal (118; 98th percentile), high-danger goals (18; 94th percentile), mid-range shots on goal (75; 90th percentile) and mid-range goals (10; 91st percentile), showing his consistency in these categories.

Guentzel had been utilized nearly to perfection during his time in Pittsburgh, mostly on a line with elite center Sidney Crosby, and could take at least a slight step back without that generational talent on his line. But as much as Guentzel has become known as an elite goal scorer (two 40-goal seasons), 5-on-5 point producer (286 even-strength points since 2018-19, 15th in League during that span) and playoff performer (58 points in 58 career postseason games), his underlying EDGE metrics also speak highly of his individual play.

Guentzel has excelled in speed bursts over 20 miles per hour (135; 90th percentile) this season and was in an even higher percentile of that category last season (225; 96th). He also has stood out in terms of skating distance, ranking among the best in top game mileage (4.21 miles on Jan. 13 at Carolina; 92nd percentile) this season and total distance (252.49 miles; 91st percentile) in 2022-23.

Kuznetsov CAR EDGE

Kuznetsov, who was cleared to resume practicing after being in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program, had cleared waivers and was sent to Hershey of the American Hockey League prior to the trade. But Kuznetsov, who won the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018, reached a high offensive gear that regular season (NHL career-high 83 points in 2017-18) and playoffs (led League with 32 points in 24 postseason games) and still brings plenty of EDGE stats upside to Carolina.

This season, even with Kuznetsov being limited to 43 of Washington’s 61 games, his top skating speed (23.45 mph; 96th percentile) ranks among the NHL leaders. He’s also one of the best in average skating distance per 60 minutes (10.26 miles; 96th percentile) and can fill an important depth role or feasibly climb the depth chart and eventually become the No. 2 center behind Sebastian Aho.

The Hurricanes were swept by the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Final last postseason, with all four losses coming by one goal and two of those games being decided in overtime (including Game 1, which ended in the fourth overtime). With the margin of victory being so slim, the trades for Guentzel and Kuznetsov, along with a healthy forward Andrei Svechnikov (missed entire 2023 playoffs with injury), could provide the additional offense to put Carolina over the top for its first championship since 2006.