The NHL draft is in Chicago this weekend, and there is not time better than the present to look back at the Top 5 Steals in team history.
5. Niklas Hjalmarsson (2005 4th Round 108th Overall)
What can you can about this absolute steal in 2005? Hjalmarsson has been a part of 3 Stanley Cup championship teams in Chicago, and he’s probably their best shutdown defenseman in the organization. It’s almost shocking to me that Hjalmarsson didn’t receive any Norris trophy consideration this season, but I guess that’s because the trophy usually goes to the defenseman with the best offensive stats instead of shot suppression.
Hjalmarsson has played all of his 623 career games while wearing a Chicago Blackhawks uniform, and although he only has 143 career points, his worth is defending and not scoring!
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One of the most frustrating moments of watching any Blackhawks game in recent history was the goal that was waved off on a Hjalmarsson goal in the 2013 playoffs.
Luckily, Brent Seabrook scored in overtime, and the march to the 2013 Stanley Cup continued. It’s hard to imagine the Hawks without Hjalmarsson all these years, and it all started with a very late draft choice back in 2005!