Mar 21, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) passes the puck against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period at the United Center. The Blackhawks won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Niklas Hjalmarsson didn’t score very high in this past summer’s report card. Hjalmarsson is a solid 2nd defense man and belongs on the 2nd defense man pair. He played very uneven hockey until the draft deadline trade for Johnny Oduya. He seemed to play better after the acquisition and better than most people suspect since his name was the biggest name rumored to be traded at the trade deadline and then at the draft and then at the start of free agency .
Low and behold Hjalmarsson is still with us. Part of me thinks that Stan Bowman’s house could be the next house featured on the show Hoarders because he has a hard time giving anything away, not that I think Hjalmarsson should be given away. The main reason for people assuming he will be traded is his contract doesn’t match his level of play ($3.5 million this season). He finished last season at +9 even though it seemed like he just continually did blind backhanded clearing attempts that were turned into opposing goals.
During the Stanley Cup run Hjalmarsson blocked every shot possible and still does a good job at this skill, but we need more from him especially in the powerplay kills. I’m sure his name will come up at the deadline this season especially if the new defenseman Sheldon Brookbank and Michal Roszival are able to come in and play good hockey.
Hjalmarsson over/under is set a 1 goal and 9 assists multiple trade rumors without getting traded.
What is your over/under for Hjalmarsson?
Follow us on Twiter @Blackhawk_Up or Friend us on Facebook at Blackhawk Up