Noah Hanifin reaches 500 NHL games on Saturday against Edmonton
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike8 months ago
Saturday night is the 256th regular season edition of the Battle of Alberta, but it’s also a big milestone for Calgary Flames defender Noah Hanifin. It’s his 500th NHL game.
Selected fifth overall by Carolina back in the 2015 NHL Draft out of Boston College – Johnny Gaudreau’s alma mater – Hanifin immediately signed and went pro, making his NHL debut on Oct. 8, 2015 at the age of 18 years, 256 days.
He immediately became an NHL regular for the Hurricanes, playing 47 games before his 19th birthday and 125 while he was still a teenager. He was acquired by the Flames at the 2018 NHL Draft along with Elias Lindholm in a trade that sent Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland and Adam Fox to Carolina.
He’s proven himself to be equal parts durable and good at hockey, as he’s missed just 20 games due to injuries or maintenance over seven seasons in the NHL. For a blueliner that plays as much against he does, in the situations that he does, that’s pretty nuts.
Alongside Rasmus Andersson, Hanifin has taken a bit step forward in 2021-22 in Mark Giordano’s absence. They’ve become a cornerstone of the team: Andersson quarterbacking the top power play unit, Hanifin head-manning the second unit, them teaming up for the second penalty kill unit, and often getting the tough defensive match-ups while Oliver Kylington and Chris Tanev are given offensive opportunities in tight games.
Hanifin reaches 500 games at just 25 years and 60 days old, among the fastest in NHL history.
Hanifin has six goals and 29 points this season through 63 games. He’s under contract through the 2023-24 season with a $4.95 million cap hit.
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