The Chicago Blackhawks battled hard all last season, busting records and winning the Stanley Cup. Every player had stepped up into their roles and dominated the ice every night. These players knew what they were after, the Stanley Cup, and stopped at nothing to get to it. Here are the three players I think will become better players next season for the champion Blackhawks.
Marcus Kruger was picked up in the 2009 NHL Draft, going in the 5th round. He has only participated in three NHL seasons, which has been spent in Chicago. In his three years, he has totaled 39 points in 125 games. This isn’t a good statistic, but he has the potential to be very good. He only had 5 points in last years’ Cup run, and finished with a -2 rating in 23 games. He can score, but he is better with the assists. If he can get the puck to a scorer more often and more precisely, he will be one of the top point scorers for the team.
Andrew Shawis one name hockey fans remember hearing last year. Whether he was causing trouble, scoring goals, or being featured on an NHL Network episode of NHL 36, you heard his name. Being one of the younger guys, he had to make a name for himself, and he seemed to do so a little bit in each category. The 22 year old had scored just 15 points in his 48-game season last year, before contributing 9 points in the Stanley Cup playoffs. His first NHL season was only 37 games long, and he scored 23 points. Shaw is one of those players that make it hard to guess how he plays. This was a tough one, but I think he can nail down a lot of goals and a lot of assists.
Last is Nick Leddy, defenseman. He played decent last season, contributing 18 points in the regular season, and 2 in the playoffs. His regular season ended with a +15 rating, while his playoff rating was a -8. That’s not a very good playoff run, but he will step it up next year. He knows where he fits in on defense now. His third year wasn’t a big one, but next year will be his year. I’m telling you, just watch and see what he does for the Blackhawks.
These are the players I chose to be rising stars for the Chicago Blackhawks next season. Let me know who you think will go beyond expectations next year. Email us at [email protected] or me personally at [email protected]. Tweet us @tmmots and @NardoneDylan.
Check out Blackhawks tickets for the 2013-14 season. Tickets to the home opener – and banner raising – against the Capitals begin for as low as $200.