If you look at the rosters for every team in the NHL, most of them will have a player like Patrick Dwyer in their bottom-six. Dwyer is a prototypical defensive forward who specializes in killing penalties, blocking shots and preventing chances and he does all three of those tasks very well for the Hurricanes. You could say that he's a "dime a dozen" player but what makes Dwyer more valuable than other defensive forwards is how big of a workload he (and Sutter) take on.
For most of the year, these two and Andreas Nodl made up the team's shutdown line and they started almost 70% of their shifts in the defensive zone. Dywer and Sutter alone were in the bottom quarter of the league in offensive zone start percentage and were always matched up against opposing team's top lines. The Hurricanes also yielded fewer scoring chances whenever Dwyer was on the ice, which shows that he's above other standard defensive forwards when you consider the situations that he plays in. That is what makes Dwyer a valuable member to the Hurricanes.
What keeps Dwyer from being more than just a defensive or a bottom-sixer is his offensive skill-set, which is almost non-existent. He can skate well and his hands aren't made out of stone, but he doesn't have much of a scoring upside at all. That's the reason why he appears as a replacement level player in both boxcar and underlying numbers but he plays a very important role on the Hurricanes and does a solid job at it.
We will look at said underlying numbers after the jump