Blackhawks News

The Central Division’s Top Five Underrated Players

By Skylar Peters
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Underrated players; the ‘silent killers’ of the National Hockey League. Each team has them, and they cause havoc for opposing coaches when contemplating player match-ups. More than likely, if you put the wrong players out there to face them, you’re going to get burned. Yet, these players still don’t get the attention they deserve. Today, we count down the top five underrated (until now) players in the NHL’s Central Divison.

#5: Jonas Brodin

Jonas Brodin was snubbed from a nomination for the Calder Trophy in his first season in 2013, and since then, has never garnered the spotlight from the media, despite being the Minnesota Wild’s second-best defenseman, arguably. At only 21 years of age, there is still plenty of time for Brodin to make a name for himself, and if his game finds consistency, it certainly will happen. Hiding in the shadow of Ryan Suter, who has been in the conversation as the NHL’s best defenseman over the past two years, is a big reason why Brodin is still relatively unknown, despite putting up 19 points in 79 games last season, and holding an even +/- rating.

#4: Andrew Shaw

Andrew Shaw has been in the spotlight before as part of the Chicago Blackhawks, and it seems that no matter how much he contributes, the attention will always be on the players in front of him. Home-grown as a Blackhawks’ draft pick, Shaw has become a ‘Hawks’ fan favourite with his gritty play, and the knack for scoring the big goal. With a couple of huge Stanley Cup Playoff overtime goals to his credit, and a jump to the second line to start the 2014-15 season, Shaw is certainly stepping into the spotlight, a place where he has deserved to be for the past several seasons.

 #3: Cody Eakin

The Dallas Stars are certainly a team on the rise, and without contributions from players such as Cody Eakin, that would not be so. Eakin possesses a world-class shot, which he demonstrated in Thursday’s season-opener against the Chicago Blackhawks. Last year, Eakin delivered 16 goals, while recording a career-high 17:20 ice time/game. With the addition of top six forwards to the Stars’ lineup, Eakin becomes even more dangerous, lurking in the bottom-six of the Stars’ offense. Like Shaw, he is not afraid of making the big hit, and will do anything possible to ensure his teams’ success shift-by-shift.