Blackhawks News

The Central Division’s Top Five Players

By Skylar Peters
5 of 5

Apr 20, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center

Jonathan Toews

(19) shoots the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

  • #1: Jonathan Toews

Not only is Jonathan Toews the face of the Chicago Blackhawks organization, he is one of the most sought-after players in the entire NHL. Toews possesses nearly every ability under the sun that will help his team win hockey games, and it is a no-doubter that he wears the ‘C’ for the ‘Hawks. Toews’ laundry list of talents and skills is growing bigger and bigger every year, and as he finds himself in new situations, he adapts to them and almost always comes out on top.

Offensively, Toews is continually in the upper echelon when it comes to the league’s top scorers, and has scored over 50 points in every season except for one: his 47-game 2013 campaign, where he managed a mere 48. Not only does Toews put up the points, he does them at the right time, with 31 game-winning goals in his career. Toews also has a way to wiggle himself onto the highlight reel, with many smooth goals. Toews has many weapons to put the puck in the net; killer speed, soft hands, great puck strength, quick passes, and most of all, a bomb of a shot. Toews has picked openings that didn’t even seem open before, and continues to leave opposing defenders spinning with his arsenal of plays.

Although Toews’ offensive skills are enough to put him among the league’s elite, his defense is his best aspect of his game. The 25-year old can fly back on the back-check, and can use his stick or his body to take away enemy chances. His biggest strength is his faceoffs, where he won 59.9% of his draws in 2013. Toews also is a plus/minus machine, already a career +115. He finished third in that category in 2013, at +28. Toews’ all-around game was the reason he took home the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 2013 as the NHL’s best defensive forward.

Toews adds one more aspect to his game that most superstars don’t have; He is the best leader in the league. At age 25, Toews has already captained two Stanley Cup teams, and is youngest to do so all-time. Along with two rings, he also has a Conn Smythe trophy to his name, the second youngest winner of the award, and youngest captain to have his name on the trophy. His leadership extends far beyond the ice surface, and ‘captain serious’ remains the face of the Blackhawks franchise with solid off-ice behavior as well as excelling on-ice. Toews has the ability to take a game and flip it on its head with his sheer determination; and when #19 sets his mind to something, his teammates follow suit.

Chicago Blackhawks fans may never see such a complete player don their sweater again, but they will continue to have the services of Jonathan Toews for at least the next decade, with ‘Hawks GM Stan Bowman saying he’ll do “whatever it takes” to keep Toews in a Blackhawk uniform. Toews should be just about ready to enter the prime of his career, and that spells bad news for any team in the Central Division, as well as the entire NHL.

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