The NHL’s Central Division’s Next Five Breakout Stars

By Skylar Peters
6 of 6

Jun 22, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Boston Bruins goalie

Tuukka Rask

(40) makes a save against Chicago Blackhawks left wing

Brandon Saad

(20) during the third period in game five of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

  • #1: Brandon Saad

Brandon Saad had a successful rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks, to say the least. Playing in all but two games, the Pittsburgh native scored 27 points, including two game-winning goals, and one of those coming short-handed. Saad had an opportunity to play with two of the best forwards in the world, spending time on the Blackhawks’ first line with Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews. Saad seemed to be a good fit everywhere he landed, and his great play earned him a nomination for the Calder Trophy. Saad did something remarkable in his rookie season that no other player can say they did last year; he won a Stanley Cup. Saad wasn’t just a bystander in the Blackhawks’ playoff run, he was still producing offensively, scoring 1 goal and 6 points as the ‘Hawks cruised to their second Stanley Cup since 2010.

Saad has nothing but potential in him. He is a dynamic player that can play anywhere, and that versatility makes him a very exciting player to watch. He will need to continue on contributing in 2013-14, as the Blackhawks go in to the season as the team to beat. Saad will have to be one of the many players that steps up for Chicago as they attempt to defend their title. If he keeps up his play for years to come, he could be one of the league’s premier players.

For more Blackhawks conversation, “Like” us on Facebook: Blackhawk Up, and follow us on Twitter: @Blackhawk_Up. Check back each weekday for a new summer daily special!