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Chicago Blackhawks’ Brent Seabrook: Over/Under In 2017-18

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TORONTO, ON - MARCH 18: Brent Seabrook
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 18: Brent Seabrook /
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Chicago Blackhawks veteran Brent Seabrook may be slowing with age, but the legendary playmaker will remain a top producer on the revamped 2017-18 ‘Hawks blue line

It’s now painfully clear that 32-year-old Brent Seabrook can’t move with the same speed and agility he had as an under-30 defenseman, but the NHL veteran can still make dazzling pass plays that verge on the super-human. And though he scored just three goals last season, Seabrook tallied 36 assists, second only to the 39 helpers he posted in 2010-11. Still, many view Seabrook’s eight-year $55 million contract extension as a white elephant that will keep the ‘Hawks in a salary cap bind well into the next decade.

             Check it out: Seabrook’s 2016-17 season grade with video highlights

With opening night less than two months away, we’re continuing Blackhawk Up’s annual projections of key Blackhawks players’ goals, assists and points next season based on three-year trends, career averages and potential linemates. Here’s the over/under projection for Seabrook.

Factors

Last three regular season statistics:

  • 2014-15: 82 games, 8 goals, 23 assists, 31 points, minus-3 rating, 22:10 TOI.
  • 2015-16: 81 games, 14 goals, 35 assists, 49 points, plus-6 rating, 22:49 TOI.
  • 2016-17: 79 games, 3 goals, 36 assists, 39 points, plus-5 rating, 21:53 TOI.

Career average (12 years):

  • 77 games, 7 goals, 27 assists, 34 points, plus-10 rating, 22:27 TOI.

Potential linemates:

Projection: 6 goals, 32 assists, 38 points

Seabrook’s 14 goals in 2015-16 and three goals last season are both career anomalies, so this season he’ll likely trend towards his career average and score six goals, three of them on the powerplay. Seabrook’s heavy shot from the point has become less potent in today’s NHL where so many goals now come from point-blank range, so it’s unlikely he’ll ever score ten or more goals again.

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Combining superior vision and playmaking skill, Seabs is still the master of both the stretch pass and no-look shot pass, so he’ll surpass his career average in assists this season with 32 helpers. Seabrook will also contribute big minutes on special teams, and he’ll likely lead ‘Hawks defensemen again in hits, as well.

Seabrook’s been remarkably durable, missing only 14 regular season games in his 12-year NHL career, so it’s likely he’ll play in enough games this season to hit or surpass these projections.

Writer prediction: Over

With the loss of Niklas Hjalmarsson, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Brian Campbell and Johnny Oduya, the ‘Hawks blue line will have a very different look this season with guys like Kempny, Murphy, Jan Rutta and Forsling having to fill the void. Nonetheless, Seabrook and Keith will lead this young and mobile D-corps through a grueling 82-game regular season and, hopefully, lengthy playoff run.

Next: Chicago Blackhawks' Corey Crawford Snubbed By NHL Network

Most Blackhawks fans can recite each of Seabrook’s three playoff overtime game-winning-goals, but it’s his two-post heartbreaker in the ‘Hawks’ 3-2 Game 7 loss to the Blues in 2016 that still rings in my ears. The brightest projection of all would be for Seabs to launch another one of his patented ‘money-shots’ in the 2018 playoffs.

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