Yesterday, the Chicago Blackhawks arguably played their worst game of the season in their 3 – 1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Rather than dwell on the awfulness of said event, I thought it was a good time for a positive post – and what is more positive than Brandon Saad’s spectacular rookie season?
Saad had a fairly quiet start to the truncated 2013 season, before finding his feet toward the end of February. He also started to find the back of the net, scoring 10 goals and 15 assists for the Blackhawks in 44 games. By March, you couldn’t talk about the Calder Trophy without factoring Brandon Saad into the conversation. In a team full of superstars, Saad is noticeable.
Saad is quick, his game dynamic and accurate and he displays a maturity on the ice when playing alongside and against the best in the league which belies his 20 years. In fact, our fearless Captain, Jonathan Toews praised his maturity in a recent interview and his nickname with his team mates is ‘Man-Child’ because he doesn’t make rookie mistakes.
Brandon Saad may not be your first thought when you bring up the race for the Calder Trophy which celebrates the rookie of the year. He isn’t flashy, he just gets the job done. But, when you consider that Saad was signed by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2011 NHL draft as 43rd pick overall, and that he is now averaging 16 minutes per game with the best offensive line in the NHL, you can’t help at being a little impressed at how far he has come in such a short period time.
The Calder Trophy hasn’t been won by a Blackhawk since Patrick Kane won it in 2008.
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