Chicago Blackhawks Progress Report- Defenseman Grades

By Keith Schultz
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Nov 25, 2013; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman

Duncan Keith

(2) and

Brent Seabrook

(7) celebrate with

Jonathan Toews

(19) after his first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks are at the quarter mark of the season with 21 games under their belt.  The Hawks are currently standing with a record of 12-8-1 with a few more defeats than people expected but they seemed to be headed in the right direction so let’s take a quick look at the defenseman and their play in the first quarter of the season.

Duncan Keith-5 Goals, 8 Assists, 13 Points, +2

Keith has been solid all season long even if he’s no where near the point total  pace he was at the beginning of last season.  Keith is still logging big minutes and the most minutes of the Blackhawks defenseman but still less than last season. Keith is one of the best in the NHL at his position but if you polled NHL experts he wouldn’t be the Norris favorite like he was last season at the quarter mark even though the Hawks defense has been stellar all season long.

Grade– A-

Brent Seabrook– 5 Goals, 7 Assists, 12 Points, -5

Seabrook recently played in his 700th game and his offensive side of his game has been kicked up a notch.  Seabrook defense during the regular season always looks like a little slow and not quite as physical as we would like to see, his teaming with Keith is always one of the top pairings in the NHL and everyone knows that his play will kick up when the games become more important.

Grade– B

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Niklas Hjalmarsson– 1 Goal, 5 Assists, 6 Points, +7

Hjalmarsson is probably the Blackhawks best defensive defenseman.  He’s always doing everything great on the back end from blocking shots or making great poke checks or just making a great defensive play to stop an opponents rush.  Hjalmarsson’s offensive game is sneaky good whey he does take to the offense end of the ice, but he’s probably the most valuable defenseman wearing a Blackhawks jersey at this time

Grade– A