The Chicago Blackhawks have been rolling lately, and on Saturday night, Klas Dahlbeck joined the party.
The 23-year old defenseman from Sweden celebrated his first NHL game along with the Blackhawks’ sixth straight victory, after a win against the Nashville Predators on the road, that gave the ‘Hawks the Central Division lead.
With so many things going right for the Blackhawks, the switch between Adam Clendening and Dahlbeck on the blue-line has been a minor blip on the radar. With Dahlbeck the current rookie on the Blackhawks’ roster, and a game officially under his belt, it’s time to analyze; judging from Dahlbeck’s first career NHL game, will he be around long-term with the team?
Dahlbeck didn’t have the flashy start that Clendening did, scoring in his first period of NHL action, but overall reaction to the rookies’ performance was pleasing.
Replacing the offensive-minded Clendening, and ultimately filling in for injured Trevor Van Reimsdyk, Dahlbeck’s stay-at-home style on the point alongside Michal Roszival was something for Blackhawks’ fans to get used to.
Indeed, Dahlbeck’s defensive game took Center stage on Saturday night, where the rookie was consistently poised. Dahlbeck’s defensive play earned shifts late in the game, as the Blackhawks worked to hold their lead over the hungry Preds.
On the offensive side of the puck, Dahlbeck did shoot a couple of passes out of reach, but nothing out of the ordinary for someone playing his first NHL game. He did manage to generate a quality scoring chance early on in the game, but it was no matter, as his partner Michal Rozsival somewhat surprisingly delivered the offense, scoring the teams’ first goal of the game.
Joel Quenneville commended Dahlbeck’s size, and his play in the defensive end, saying it was a “good start” for the rookie.
Now, it’s your turn. What did you think of Dahlbeck’s NHL debut? Will he stick around?
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