In the first ever edition of Blackhawk Up’s Blackhawks Future Friday, we take a look at Brandon Pirri, the Blackhawks’ second-round draft pick in 2009.
2012-2013 AHL Stats:
Pirri also played in the Blackhawks’ final regular season game of 2013, where he recorded just under 20:00 of TOI and 2 shots.
Pirri was very impressive in 2012-13, playing for the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. He led the American League in scoring, coming in at just under a point-per-game player, with 75 in all 76 games. He was far ahead of highly touted prospects such as Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, with Pirri not receiving a lot of attention despite his league-leading play. At 6’0″, 180lb, he is very quick on his feet, using his speed to blow by defenders, or jump in a rush with his teammates. He is one of those players that the puck always seems to find, which is due to his great positional play. He picks up a lot of pucks in front of the net and battles hard against the opposing d-men. He is great in the defensive end too, where he battles along the boards with a fire that we rarely see outside of the NHL. He never gives up on a play, and that makes him very effective on both the forecheck and the back-check.
Promotion Probability: 9/10
With the Blackhawks cleaning out their roster, it allows prospects like Pirri to make the jump to the big club and fill in the roles left by the departed Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik, among any others that might go elsewhere during the off-season. If leading the AHL in scoring wasn’t enough to crack the lineup, Pirri also scored seven of his goals on the powerplay. A energetic boost from Pirri could help the Blackhawks man-advantage, something that struggled greatly all season long, despite the team’s success. Pirri is a 3rd-year pro, and he has done his time in the minors in order to get the experience ready to move up. He can be expected to play a role similar to Brandon Saad did in the 2013 season. Although Saad’s promotion happened due to injury, Pirri’s skill will allow Joel Quenneville move him into the top six without regret if the core players aren’t clicking. Back in 2011, Pirri actually beat out Marcus Kruger for the fourth line center spot, but he only played one game in that role before the two switched.
Pirri is undoubtedly ready to make his move to the Windy City. A gifted center is just what the Blackhawks need, and Pirri gives Stan Bowman the luxury of not having to look for a replacement for Dave Bolland, because there are well-prepared prospects like Pirri already in the organization.
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