SHAAAAAWWWW YEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHH: A Look At The Blackhawks' New Folk Hero
Seriously, how good was the Chicago Blackhawks' 2011 Draft?
You've already had 2 guys have their NHL cherries broken (Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw), and there are 2 first rounders (Mark McNeill and Philip Danault) who will be core guys when they arrive. There's another second rounder, other than Saad (Adam Clendening) rounding out his college career when he's not bench pressing Buick Roadmasters.
But who knew the guy who would make the biggest first impression would be the fifth rounder, taken 139th overall?
Here's what we said about him after the draft:
ANDREW SHAW C (5th round, 139th overall) - Shaw racked up decent numbers in the OHL, with 54 points in 66 games, and won the league's "Hardest Working Player" award. Again, it looks like Stan loves the guys who bring their lunch pail. Best of all, since his name is Andy Shaw, he can take over at Channel 7 from the guy who left there.
"Bring their lunch pail". Look, this guy is not going to keep scoring goals at a Gretzkyesque pace. He might not even score then at a Bollandian one. But he's getting goals by simply going hard to the net, making his own opportunities, and playing like one bad shift will get him sent to Toledo.
I've beaten this to death on Puckcasts, but this illustrates the next generation of Blackhawks player - it's as if they fed every player profile at this past year's draft into a search engine, and filtered out buzzwords and phrases like "leadership", "hard working", "strong".
Shaw is far from the most skilled player the Blackhawks have. In fact, he's pretty much a prototype 4th liner. His hands are far from baby's-ass soft like Patrick Kane, but him, pucks, and open nets have been fortunately enough to find themselves in the same place. He dropped the gloves in the first period of his first NHL game, and while he got his ass kicked, he showed he's enough of a sandpaper guy to stir things up as much as everyone hoped Dan Carcillo would.
He's getting in the middle of everything when he's out there, and he's being rewarded. In the San Jose game, he got a goal and went 6-for-6 in the faceoff circle. For this, QStache gave him 17 minutes of ice time. Against San Jose.
While it's a huge stretch to think that Shaw will ever be an all-star, the fact is that I don't think he'll have to pick up any bar tabs or dinner checks any time soon. Now, if only we could figure out how to put his heart into Bryan Bickell's body...