24-Year-Old Left Wing – Chicago Blackhawks
Brandon Saad Contract Information:
Signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Blue Jackets in July 2015.
Saad was reacquired by the Blackhawks on Friday -- along with Anton Forsberg -- in a swap for Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte, Pierre LeBrun of TSN reports.
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Brandon Saad: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The Jackets had to give up a lot, but even so, they positively stole Saad from the Blackhawks this offseason and promptly signed him to a six-year contract. Still just 22 years old, the Pittsburgh native is one of the league's most exciting young talents, he's held the Stanley Cup, and he's now going to join a pair of stars in Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno on what should be an explosive top line for the Blue Jackets. Take Saad's elite speed and finishing ability and combine it with what projects to be an increase in minutes, and you've got a strong candidate for a fully fledged bust-out season. Don't miss out.
Saad showed some flashes of potential in his first full season in the NHL, finishing sixth on the Blackhawks in scoring with 47 points. It represented a sizable step forward for Saad, who doubled his output in goals from 10 to 19. Saad will only turn 22 when the season starts and should only see his numbers climb from here, especially as he continues to improve upon his obvious chemistry with Patrick Kane. Barring an injury, Saad will continue to rise up the list of forwards in the league. A point total in the mid-to-high 50s aren't out of the question this season.
Saad made the 2013 NHL All-Rookie squad and was a Calder Trophy nominee after he scored 10 goals and added 17 assists in 46 games last season. This output is just the tip of the iceberg, but he needs to develop more consistency to fulfill his potential as a power forward. He'll be a top-nine guy with the Hawks this season and could see time on the second line, too. But beware the sophomore slump. It doesn't happen to everyone, but when it does, it ruins fantasy seasons.
Saad surprised last season by making the team out of camp ... especially since he was just 18 years old. His time with the big club only lasted two games, but he clearly made an impression -- the Hawks called him up for their postseason and he dressed for two playoff games after Marian Hossa went down with a concussion. In between the two stints with the Hawks, the 6-1, 208 lb left winger utterly dominated junior hockey (76 points in 44 games). It would not be a surprise this time if he starts the 2012-13 season with Chicago and sticks for the season. He'll have his ups and downs, but 35 points are definitely possible.
The Blackhawks' second-round draft choice in June's NHL Draft will be looking to prove the critics wrong this season that he should have been picked in the first round.