May 11, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) during the third period of game five of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center. Chicago won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Blackhawks Top 100- #77 Niklas Hjalmarsson

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We’re heading into the dog days of the offseason, counting the days until the Chicago Blackhawks 2014 Season kicks off. We’re going to do a Top 100 list of all time Chicago Blackhawks. It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down Memory Lane.

Niklas Hjalmarsson Blackhawks Statistics

Games-387

Goals-13

Assists-69

Points-82

+59

Penalty Minutes-147

Game Winning Goals-2

Playoffs

Games-94

Goals-1

Assists-20

Points-21

+15

Penalty Minutes-36

Stanley Cup Championships-2

Niklas Hjalmarsson made his debut in 2008 but didn’t become a regular starter for the Blackhawks until the 2009-2010 season.  He became a solid 2nd or 3rd pairing defenseman coming up and has always been good at blocking shots and being a defenseman’s defenseman.

After the Stanley Cup championship of 2010 Doug Wilson the former Blackhawk  and General Manager of the San Jose Sharks put Stan Bowman to the test and forced him to basically choose between Antti Niemi and Hjalmarsson.  Bowman made what seemed like a controversial move at the time but turned out to be the correct move by a landslide by keeping Hjalmarsson and letting Niemi leave for the Sharks.

2011 was a tough season for Hjalmarsson, he seemed to be in no man’s land a lot and making careless turnovers, but that player thankfully left and a strong defensive player is the one we wintess on a nightly basis at the United Center. Hjlamarsson’s play was solidified when Johnny Oduya arrived at the end of the 2012 season and the two have been the #1 shut down defensive pair for the Blackhawks ever since which included the 2013 Stanley Cup.

Hjalmarsson still is only 27 with plenty of prime hockey playing years ahead of him and it seems like now he’s playing some of the best hockey of his career, and with 2 Stanley Cups to his name it finds him in our Top 100 countdown of All-Time Blackhawks. As part of the Hawks core everyone is expecting more Cups in the next few years with Hjalmarsson silently being one of the best players in that core.

What do you think? Too High, Too Low or shouldn’t have made the Top 100?

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