May 30, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) moves the puck past Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov (26) during the third period in game six of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center. The Chicago Blackhawks won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
The calendar has finally turned to September and so it’s time to bring back one of our traditional favorites over/under. We predict the Blackhawks players stats and you tell us if you think they will go over or under those stats! It’s a fun way to preview the season and we look forward to your comments! Is It October 9th in Dallas yet?
To me, Brandon Saad will be the most exciting player to watch for the Blackhawks in 2014-15 in terms of potential and improvement. He nearly won the Calder Trophy in his rookie season, and made huge strides last year.
Saad moved between lines quite a bit last season before finally settling on the 2nd line with Patrick Kane. Both players have the ability to hold the puck in the offensive zone, as well as create opportunities for each other, and who ever is fortunate enough to center the two in a given game.
At only 22 years of age, Saad, as of right now, is the best young player on this Blackhawks team, and will only be rivaled in that category for a few more years by Tuevo Teravainen.
2013-14 Over/Under- 22 Goals and 23 Assists
2013-14 Actual Stats: 19 Goals and 28 Assists
Although Saad had a good rookie season, he was able to improve on that in his sophomore campaign. He did not meet the goal standards set for him at this point last year, but he well exceeded his projected assist numbers. Despite not achieving the 20 goal mark, he still had a great season. Saad cemented himself as a fixture on the Hawks Top 6 for years to come.
2014-15 Over/Under- 25 Goals and 25 Assists
Coming into the last season of his entry-level contract, I expect Saad to improve more defensively, which was his only critique last season, than offensively. He is projected to play alongside Brad Richards and Patrick Kane, and he should be able to provide both players with opportunities, as well as receive and finish them.
Hawks fans hope that the team will be able to sign Saad to an extension before he becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season. With the recent extensions to Kane and Jonathan Toews taking effect next season, cap room will be hard to come by, but a talented player like Saad should be a shoe-in for an extension.
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