Blackhawks Future Friday: Phillip Danault
Picture Courtesy – www.committedindians.com
- Phillip Danault
2012-13 QMJHL Stats
Drafted: First round, 26th overall, 2011 NHL Entry Draft
Phillip Danault is a rare breed among his age group, and that’s what makes him even more special for the Chicago Blackhawks. Danault is a natural leader, and has been since the age of 17, when he was named captain of the Victoriaville Tigres, his junior team. As any leader does, Danault has a tireless work ethic, and can be seen contributing at both ends of the ice.
He is one of those players that is seen doing everything; Scoring a goal, using their body, or blocking a shot. Danault is dynamic offensively, and averaged over a point-per-game in his last three QMJHL seasons. Character players aren’t the ones winning the scoring races, but they are the blood that runs through a team’s veins, and Phillip Danault is just that.
Furthering his reputation as a leader, Danault won the Guy Carbbonneau Trophy as best defensive forward in the QMJHL, the same award as the Selke Trophy, which Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews took home this season at the NHL level.
Road To The NHL:
Born in 1993, Danault spent his minor hockey days in the city of Victoriaville, and has since played his major junior career there as well. Playing in front of a hometown crowd, Danault was named the Tigres’ captain in his 17-year old year, a remarkable feat. Danault was a key playoff performer that year, helping the Tigres upset the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in four games in the first round. He put up 15 points in nine playoff games that season, and scored the game-winner in their only win in the second round against the Saint John’s Sea Dogs. Danault would continue to weave himself into the fabric of the Tigres, until 2012-13 when he was traded to the Moncton Wildcats. Danault has seen the end of his junior career, and played five games with the Rockford IceHogs (Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate) at the tail-end of the regular season.
Promotion Probability: 1/10
Danault is continuing to get himself ready to play at the NHL level, and there is no need for the Blackhawks to rush his development. With other natural leaders on the team, Danault will get his shot in one or two seasons after getting accustomed to the professional game at the AHL level. Although there is a chance he may play in one or two games with the Blackhawks in 2013-14, he is expected to spend the season with Rockford. He will have time to be a stronger player, one aspect of his game many scouts say needs improvement. Danault also tied for first in the QMJHL for shorthanded points, a big plus for the organization who is looking for key special teams players.
The maturity and talent level are there, and Danault has a great future ahead of him in the Blackhawks organization. With a talented club at the NHL level as the Blackhawks have, Danault can take his time and make sure he is the best player he can be when he gets his shot.
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