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Chicago Blackhawks: Trevor Daley 2015-16 Over/Under

By Matt Barbato
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September is upon us and the Chicago Blackhawks will begin their third title defense of the decade in just a couple weeks. The team kicks off training camp at Compton Family Ice Arena on the campus of Notre Dame Sept. 18, putting us a step closer to the end of a whirlwind offseason. Over the next couple of weeks, Blackhawk Up will project the stats of each player on the roster, using their career averages and numbers from a year ago to analyze whether that player’s stats will be over or under the projected total. 

The Over/Under fun continues with a look at another (and there are plenty of them) newcomer to Chicago, defenseman Trevor Daley. The former Stars defenseman came to the Chicago Blackhawks as compensation in the Patrick Sharp trade. Daley plays an offensive style and could be a liability as a defender.

2014-15 Actual Stats: 16 goals, 22 assists

Daley’s 38 points in 68 games finished sixth on the Stars and second among defensemen. Daley was an active contributor in Dallas’ high-flying offense and it’s easy to rack up points while feeding players like Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

The 31-year old defenseman put up his best season by far last year. Puck luck seemed to be a major factor, as Daley scored on 14.2 percent of his shots. That was the third best rate on the Stars and was better than Benn and Seguin.

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2015-16 Projected Stats: Eight goals, 17 assists

Projection: Over

Daley will need to be a better defender in Chicago, where he will likely land on the second pairing. Daley is not a very efficient player in terms of possession and tends to be a liability in the defensive zone. Just look at his -13 rating last year in Dallas.

However, Daley will be a productive player on the offensive end in Chicago. He can lead a power play and is very good at setting up teammates. He’s tallied at least 16 assists in every season since 2007 (aside from the 2012-13 lockout shortened campaign).

One big factor into Daley’s production in Chicago will be who he shares the ice with. Daley is sort of replacing Johnny Oduya, who normally lined up alongside Niklas Hjalmarsson. Head coach Joel Quenneville could try and place Daley in the Oduya role, although Daley doesn’t possess the same defensive chops as Oduya did. He could also line Daley up with Brent Seabrook, but then there isn’t a great defender on the ice at all times (Seabrook is good, not great).

Pairing Duncan Keith with Daley and pairing Hjalmarsson and Seabrook could provide the most balance on the ice. However, the play of Chicago’s bottom-two defensemen will determine whether Keith or Hjalmarsson are forced to babysit the fifth or sixth defenseman.

Daley should put up points no matter who he plays with, as he will have plenty of talent to set up for goals in Chicago. However, it may be Daley’s defensive play that determines whether his acquisition was a success.

Next: Kane's Replacement?

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