Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks 2016-17 Over/Under: Jordin Tootoo

By Mario Tirabassi
Feb 16, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Jordin Tootoo (22) celebrates his goal during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Prudential Center. The Flyers defeated the Devils 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 16, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Jordin Tootoo (22) celebrates his goal during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Prudential Center. The Flyers defeated the Devils 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /
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As the regular season begins in just a couple of weeks, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to improve on their early exit last season. The team kicks off training camp at Johnny’s Icehouse in Chicago on September 23. Over the next few weeks, Blackhawk Up will give projections for the stats of each player heading into the season, based off the trend of past three seasons, career averages, and potential line-mate projections. 

Jordin Tootoo is looking to find his role in the Chicago Blackhawks’ bottom six

While this summer for the Chicago Blackhawks has been primarily focused on what the future of the franchise holds in their young prospect pool, there have been some interesting, if not, puzzling moves made. The most puzzling would be the signing of winger Jordin Tootoo. While the Blackhawks pride themselves on building around speed and skill and have been hugely successful doing so, bringing in a player of Tootoo’s caliber almost feels like a backwards move.

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Tootoo, for the majority of his professional career, has played the role of the agitator, aggressor, and all around pest on the ice. Making his bread with the Nashville Predators organization, Tootoo’s career peaked in the 2011-12 season when he tallied 30 points and averaged 13:09 minutes of ice-time per game.

After that season, Tootoo spent some time with the Detroit Red Wings organization and most recently with the New Jersey Devils. While the Red Wings gave Tootoo more ice in the AHL, New Jersey gave him a much better opportunity to get his NHL legs back under him and still show he could make an impact.

Tenacious seems to be a good word to describe Tootoo on the ice. He won’t dazzle you with his offensive skills, but he isn’t afraid to get in the opposition’s face with a big hit or fight when needed.

Tootoo’s not a bad guy, though. Remember when he made this young Grand Rapids Griffins fan’s life complete by giving him his stick?

Aww.

At 33-years old, turning 34 in February, it seems like a waste of everyone’s time if the Blackhawks decide to place Tootoo with the Rockford IceHogs for more than a few games at a time, if at all. So where does Tootoo fit into the Blackhawks scheme for 2016-17?

Factors

Last Three Seasons (AHL/NHL):

  • 2013-14:
    • AHL: 51 GP – 6g, 12a, 18Pts, -1 (with Grand Rapids Griffins)
    • NHL: 11 GP – 0g, 1a, 1Pts, -3, 6:59 TOI (with Detroit Red Wings)
  • 2014-15: 68 GP – 10g, 5a, 15Pts, +1, 10:27 TOI (with New Jersey Devils)
  • 2015-16: 66 GP – 4g, 5a, 9Pts, -26, 11:32 TOI (with New Jersey Devils)

Career Average:

  • 82 Game AVG: 7g, 11a, 18Pts, -6, 10:32 TOI

Potential Line-mates:

Chicago Blackhawks 2016-17 Over/Under For Andrew Desjardins

Projection: 3G, 3A, 6Pts

While his arrival in Chicago was a bit surprising, Tootoo’s role with the Blackhawks most likely will not be. Playing in a fourth-line, grinding, physical game will be Tootoo’s calling card in 2016-17.

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The 10:27 and 11:32 average minutes on ice in the last two seasons will not happen for Tootoo in Chicago. The Devils are a much less talented team than the Blackhawks and anything under ten minutes per night is almost a guaranteed for Tootoo.

Writer Prediction: Under 

The Blackhawks have a decent amount of players that can fill the role of the physical on-ice presence with Mashinter and Desjardins, so Tootoo will have to show that he still has the ability to tap into that 2011-12 form and produce offensively to add to his physical game.

If he can get consistent minutes and play upwards of 50-60 games for Chicago, then Tootoo can add a decent amount to the Blackhawks franchise as a role-player in 2016-17. Therefore, the production projection for Jordin Tootoo in the 2016-17 season is six points.

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