Andrew Shaw's short rookie season saw him score 12 goals with 11 assists (23 points) in 37 games. He delivered 82 hits, accumulated 50 penalty minutes, blocked 21 shots and finished minus-1 while playing a little over 15 minutes per game. In three playoff games, he was unable to record a point while shelling out seven hits and going minus-1.
Boden's take: There were unpleasant surprises from some underachievers this past season. The most pleasant surprise came absolutely out of nowhere. You know the route Shaw took by now. The small package has a huge fire burning inside him and he provided a huge shot in the arm twice to this club -- and they really needed it. I'd shudder to think how much more of a struggle the season would have been if Shaw hadn't been such a gift. But the 5-foot-10, 180-pound, 21-year-old gave this team something it sorely needed.
Myers' take: And now we come to the little engine that could - and did. Shaw came up in January and made an immediate impact with a fight and a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. He was sent down for a bit and recalled under the condition that he got back to being an aggressive forward first and a scoring one second. Shaw was strong in his second stint, bringing both that edge and offense to a Blackhawks team that needed it down the stretch. The team missed his presence when he was slapped with a three-game suspension for hitting goaltender Mike Smith in Game 2 of the playoffs. But the guy built a mini cult following here in Chicago, and players loved him for the spark and snark he brought to the lineup.
Boden: This will be one of the more interesting individual seasons to watch. Is there the proverbial "sophomore slump" looming? How close will he come to providing the kind of pace, production-wise, that he had this season (23 points in 37 games)? Will Joel Quenneville need to elevate him to provide some spark on the top two lines?
If he is just as effective over a full season management might need to think of bumping up his 565,000 salary next summer, heading into the final year of his entry-level deal. Like Daniel Carcillo, finding the right balance between hard, edgy play and suspensions will be something to keep an eye on.
Myers: When Shaw came back from suspension he said he was going to keep playing with that edge that brought him more success than slaps last season. Thats good; and his work last season should put him ahead of the curve when he enters training camp in September. Shaw has a great fearlessness that the Blackhawks need moving forward, and if he plays this fall like he did last spring, hell be in great shape.
How do you feel about this evaluation? As always, be sure to chime in with your thoughts by commenting below and check out highlights of Shaw above.
Up next: Michael Frolik