Blackhawks’ Future Friday: Adam Clendening
picture credit: www.committedindians.com
- Adam Clendening
2012-13 AHL Stats
Drafted: Second Round, 36th overall, 2011 NHL Entry Draft
Everyone loves a good ol’ homegrown defenseman, and Adam Clendening fits the bill. Billed as an offensive defenseman, Clendening has impressed scouts with his great hockey sense, and not only possesses superb vision, but excellent puck-moving skills to complete the package. He is a strong skater, and has the speed to keep up with the fastest forwards on the ice.
Clendening’s knack for controlling the pace of a game is somewhat of a rarity among his age group, but he applies it well, and can often be found on the blue-line for the power play. He has patience with the puck, and he can keep his options open by making a pass, or jumping into the play himself, something he is comfortable with. He has a good shot, and on many highlight films he will get the assist by way of a deflection or rebound.
Defensively, Clendening is solid. He uses good speed and angle control to deny any quality chances, and can lay the body well if needed. A poke check or solid hit on the opposition can turn into offense for Clendening’s side, as he wastes no time making a breakout pass.
Road To The NHL:
Clendening is a native of Niagara Falls, New York, and was raised in Wheatfield, New York. He split his minor hockey years in between Canada and the U.S.A., and started on his hockey journey in Ontario, playing midget AAA in Toronto. The next year, he was a part of the United States National Team Development Program, on the U-17 and U-18 teams. He won a gold medal in the U-18 World Junior Championship, producing 2 assists in seven games.
The very next season, he won his second international medal, also at the U-18 WJC. This time around, he scored 3 goals and had 10 points, in 7 games, earning him a nod to the tournament All-Star Team. In the same year, he once again played in the US NTDP system, scoring 49 points and adding 120 penalty minutes in 65 games.
He started his collegiate career in 2010, playing for the Boston University Terriers. He played in 39 games, scoring 5 goals and 26 points with 80 PIMS. His play was recognized, and he was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. In his second season with the college, he led defenseman with 33 points in 38 games, and was +11 on the season. He also competed in the U-20 WJC, scoring five points in 6 games.
Clendening signed a three-year deal with the Blackhawks, and was added to the Rockford IceHogs squad in 2012-13. He scored an impressive 9 goals, and added 37 assists in 73 games. He was a key part of the IceHogs’ strong start to the season, and he spent time on both special teams.
Promotion Probability: 1/10
Clendening made the jump to the pro game in 2012-13, and played a solid season, although his game dropped off slightly. He will look for some consistency as he enters his sophomore campaign, and will get a lot of minutes with the IceHogs, on a top pairing, as well as the power-play. He could be a member of the Blackhawks “Black Aces” if need be.
Clendening has a strong future ahead of him, and with a few tweaks, may soon become a key blue-liner for the Blackhawks.
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