Jonathan Toews topped ESPN’s list of the top NHL players under 25. Here’s what they had to say about the Blackhawks captain (because, unlike the rest of the article, you don’t need to register to see what they had to say about Toews):
Let’s start in the faceoff dot, where Toews led the league with a 59.4 percent win percentage (minimum 1,000 faceoffs) last year. He has historically won 55 percent of his even-strength defensive draws and 53 percent of the draws he takes during the penalty kill. Winning faceoffs helps establish puck possession, so it is no wonder anyone who skates with Toews is on the ice for more shots for than against.
Over the past six seasons, all 17 players who have shared at least 500 minutes of even-strength time with Toews — including frequent linemates Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Patrick Sharp – all saw more shots in their favor with him than when they skated without him.
The Hawks’ captain contributes offensively, as well, registering 144 goals and 324 points in 361 regular-season games over the past five seasons despite continually being matched up against the toughest opposition among Chicago’s forwards.
Toews does it all — kills penalties (1:52 per game), produces on the power play (registered points on 67 percent of power-play goals scored in 2011-12) and drives possession at even strength — which is why he is once again at the top of the 25 Under 25 list.
I mean, that says it all, doesn’t it?
Toews will be ineligible for the list next year, since he turns 25 (going on 53), so he’ll have to be content with being one of the top 25 players over 25.
Patrick Kane was ranked number 6 on the list.
Duncan Keith (hey, remember him?) is thinking about playing in Europe, according to his agent, Ross Gurney. (CSN Chicago)
Phillip Danault is ripping up the QMJHL for the Victoriaville Tigres. (Second City Hockey)
The Bloomington Blaze started their training camp yesterday with David Gilbert in their midst. (Pantagraph)
Blackhawks players have hired Kenny McCudden, the Chicago Wolves‘ skating and skills coach, to help direct their practices. (CSN Chicago)