Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews Still Doesn’t Get Enough Credit

By Ryan Fedrau
Jonathan Toews #19, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Jonathan Toews #19, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Jonathan Toews provides tremendous value to the Chicago Blackhawks, but his offense can be overlooked at times.

Jonathan Toews, 31, is currently the first-line center and the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that has had a lot of success under his leadership including 3-Stanley Cups, 5 visits to the Western Conference Finals, and 9-straight seasons of making the playoffs (2009-2017).

Toews is the only player in NHL history to be named team captain at age 20, the 6th youngest of all-time.

He has been a constant leader and has done the things that go unnoticed to the casual fan, like how well he plays on defense, the amount of success he has had at the faceoff dot in big moments, killing penalties, playing long minutes (especially in the playoffs), and doing everything else the team asks of him.

Toews doesn’t do the most “fun” stuff in the eyes of the casual fan, but he is the perfect guy to have to lead your team in today’s NHL.

The casual fan doesn’t see Toews as a goal-scorer, but they see him more as a defensive forward who does the things that go unnoticed.

However, there’s a lot more to his game than meets the eye. Toews has an offensive side to his game that is highly overlooked.

Last season, Toews had his best year statistically, but it’s fair to say if the 2013 shortened-season had been all 82 games, Toews could have had around 90 points that season at the rate he was playing.

In those 47 games, Toews had 48 points (23G, 25A) and was really starting to come into his own on offense.

After a lackluster 2017-18 season, Toews played in all 82 games in 2018-19 and had 81 points (35G, 46A) to show for it, a career-high in both goals and assists.

Of the Blackhawks’ 36 wins last season, Toews had the game-winning goal in 5 of them, with him averaging 21 minutes of ice time per game.

Toews won a career-high 1,059 faceoffs last season, which equates to winning 56.3% of the draws he took. Puck possession often dictates the way a game turns out.

Toews also played well on the power play with 23-points (9G, 14A). Adding to that, Toews had 2 hat tricks.

Just because Toews had his best career-season last year, it doesn’t necessarily put him in the conversation for best center in the league. Currently, it’s a toss-up between Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby.

However, it is fair to say that he is a top-10 center in the league. Toews got snubbed when the NHL Network came out with their top 20 centers of the 2018-19 season. Toews outperformed a lot of the guys on that list.

That is where saying Jonathan Toews is underrated comes into play. In the Blackhawks’ record books, he is high up there with his teammate Patrick Kane, this might surprise some but Jonathan Toews has the 6th-most goals in franchise history (327) and 8th-most assists in franchise history (428), making him the 7th-leading scorer in franchise history with 755 career points.

Looking deeper into the Blackhawks’ record books, Toews is 8th in Power Play goals (79), tied for 10th on short-handed goals (15),  has the 3rd-most game-winning goals (63) which puts him ahead of Patrick Kane (60), and he also has the 7th-most hat tricks in franchise history (6).

The numbers don’t lie, Toews is highly underrated on offense. He is a complete player that does his job well. This is why everyone in Chicago loves Captain Serious.

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