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Chicago Blackhawks: Why Brandon Saad Deserves to Stay on the 1st Line

VANCOUVER, CANADA - FEBRUARY 01: Brandon Saad #20 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Dan Hamhuis #2 of the Vancouver Canucks reach for the loose puck during the second period in NHL action on February 1, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images
Nicole BlumContributor IIIFebruary 2, 2013

Brandon Saad has played seven games and has yet to earn a point for the Chicago Blackhawks this season, but he looks more promising than ever. 

Playing between Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, the 20-year-old finds himself skating alongside two of the top offensive threats in the NHL.

Although he has no points to show for his contribution to the line, his work ethic is bound to produce in the near future.

Saad encapsulates that young, hard-working demeanor the 'Hawks were known for in their 2010 Stanley Cup victory. He rushes the net, has strong puck-handling skills and continues seemingly broken plays. 

Marian Hossa has nothing but praise for him (via Scott Powers ESPNChicago): 

First of all, he's such a young guy. I think he does extremely well with the skating ability, getting the puck and battling. He's strong with skating. He's strong with corners. The more he's going to feel more comfortable, the more confident he'll get. He's winning the battles. That's huge for our line.

Blackhawks fans may vaguely remember Brandon Saad from last season. He played only four games and tallied one assist for the Blackhawks. 

Daniel Carcillo’s injury opened up an opportunity for the Pittsburgh native at the beginning of this season. We have seen a more refined playing style from him this year.

Saad continues to mimic the dominant AHL play he displayed during the NHL lockout, when he scored eight goals and provided 12 assists in 31 games played—well, the same work ethic minus the production.

But getting on the scoresheet should not be a problem if he plays every game with the passion he has shown over the season thus far. 

After all, passion leads to production.

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