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?
Today, we preview another member of the Blackhawks’ core, who has two Stanley Cup rings in his collection, and will certainly give the Blackhawks a chance to win another next season; Niklas Hjalmarsson.
After seeing the season that Hjalmarsson had in 2013-14, it’s hard to believe the Blackhawks barely kept the Swedish defenseman after their 2010 Stanley Cup run. Playing on the second pairing with Johnny Oduya for the majority of the season, Hjalmarsson had one of his most consistent years ever.
As it’s always been with #4, his offensive stats aren’t the root of his game. Although he’s been known to score the timely goal or get in on a goal with an assist, what Hjalmarsson does at the Blackhawks’ end of the ice is the reason he is signed through the 2018-19 season, with a cap hit of $4.1 million.
This season will be the first year under that new contract, which was signed little over a year ago. Big money means big expectations, and Hjalmarsson is expected to bring the blocks, breakups, and bodychecks in droves this season.
Last season, he doubled his career high in points, finishing with 4 goals and 22 assists for 26 points, playing in all but one of the Blackhawks’ 82 games. Can he do it again?
2014-2015 over/under– After a career year last season, don’t expect Hjalmarsson’s numbers to go up too much, if at all. We say he’ll finish with 5 goals and 23 assists for 28 points, and he’ll play in 80 games. After all, it’s what Hjalmarsson does in the defensive zone that makes him so valuable to the Blackhawks.
Thanks for reading! For more Blackhawks conversation, like us on Facebook: Blackhawk Up, and follow us on Twitter: @Blackhawk_Up.