Top 20 Chicago Blackhawks rookie seasons in franchise history
Domink Kubalik is a Calder Trophy finalist. He’s flourished since coming to Chicago from the Los Angeles Kings, earning time on the Blackhawks’ top line. With 30 goals scored in 68 games, Kubalik leads all NHL rookies this season in goals. But where does his 2019-20 season rank among the greatest rookie seasons in Blackhawks franchise history?
20. Brent Seabrook
2005-06: 5 G, 27 AST, 32 PTS, +5
Brent Seabrook’s 27 assists during his rookie season ranked third on the team, and it’s the second-highest assist total for a rookie in Blackhawks franchise history. Seabs only finished 13th in Calder voting, but he was up against the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Dion Phaneuf.
19. Brandon Saad
2012-13: 10 G, 17 A, 27 PTS, +17
Brandon Saad was a Calder Trophy finalist in 2013, finishing his first season tied for fifth among rookies in points (27) and tied for third in assists (17). He added another goal and five assists in the playoffs, helping the Blackhawks to win the Stanley Cup.
18. Keith Magnuson
1969-70: 0 G, 24 A, 24 PTS, +38
Keith Magnuson is the only player on this list without a goal as a rookie, waiting until the playoffs to score his first career goal. But “Maggie” still managed to notch 24 assists and a +38 rating on his way to a third-place finish in Calder voting. His teammate Tony Esposito took home the award. Magnuson led the NHL in penalty minutes in 1969-70 with 213.
17. Eddie Olczyk
1984-85: 20 G, 30 A, 50 PTS, +10
If you look at Eddie Olczyk’s rookie season by itself you come away impressed that an 18-year-old scored 20 goals with 30 assists. But Olczyk finished 14th in Calder Trophy voting in 1984-85 thanks to the explosion of offense among rookies around the league. Seven rookies finished with more points than Olczyk, including Calder winner Mario Lemieux with 43 goals and 57 assists.
16. Bobby Hull
1957-58: 13 G, 34 A, 47 PTS
Bobby Hull played in all 70 games and scored 13 goals with 34 assists as a rookie. He finished second in Calder Trophy voting, with Toronto’s Frank Mahovlich taking home the award. Hull’s goal totals would increase dramatically by the 1959-60 season when he won his first of three Art Ross trophies. He wore jersey No. 16 as a rookie, and did not switch to No. 9 until 1963.
15. Kris Versteeg
2008-09: 22 G, 31 A, 53 PTS, +15
Kris Versteeg finished 2008-09 second among NHL rookies in scoring (57 points) and first in assists with 31. He added another four goals and eight assists in the playoffs. Versteeg was a Calder Trophy finalist, finishing behind Steve Mason and Bobby Ryan.
14. Alex DeBrincat
2017-18: 28 G, 24 A, 52 PTS, +6
Alex DeBrincat scored three hat tricks as a rookie in 2017-18, setting a new Blackhawks rookie record and tying Tony Granato for most hat tricks by a U.S.-born rookie in a season. He wound up with a team-high 28 goals and became the youngest Blackhawks player to be awarded the Blackhawks Player of the Year award. DeBrincat finished tenth in Calder Trophy voting.
13. Corey Crawford
2010-11: 33-18-6, 2.30 GAA, .917 SV PCT, 4 SO
Corey Crawford posted 33 wins as a rookie, which ranks just outside the top ten in franchise history for a single season. Crawford’s impressive 2.30 GAA and .917 save percentage earned him a fourth-place finish in Calder voting.
12. Dominik Kubalik
2019-20: 30 G, 16 A, 46 PTS, +2
Dominik Kubalik’s breakout campaign saw him become just the fifth Blackhawks player ever to score 30 goals in his rookie season. Only Patrick Kane had more goalies than Kubalik for the 2019-20 Blackhawks. The 24-year-old led all NHL rookies in goals. He notched his first career hat trick on February 27 against Tampa Bay and had four other multi-goal games.
11. Eric Daze
1995-96: 30 G, 23 A, 53 PTS, +16
Eric Daze is one of only five Blackhawks rookies to score at least 30 goals in a season. Daze just barely lost the Calder Trophy to Daniel Alfredsson, with Alfredsson earning 27 first place votes to Daze’s 22. He helped the Hawks to a second-place finish in the Central Division before losing to Colorado in the conference semis.
10. Bill Hay
1959-60: 18 G, 37 A, 55 PTS, +17
Bill Hay had a breakout rookie season in 1959-60, finishing 12th in assists and 13th in points. Hay centered the Blackhawks “Million Dollar Line” between Bobby Hull and Murray Balfour. He won the Calder Trophy in 1960, and his emergence as a rookie played a huge role in the Hawks winning the Stanley Cup the next season.
9. Jonathan Toews
2007-08: 24 G, 30 A, 54 PTS, +11
Jonathan Toews finished third in Calder trophy voting in 2008, losing out to teammate Patrick Kane. Toews led all rookies with 24 goals in 2007-08 despite missing more than a month with a knee injury. The future captain also won 53 percent of his faceoffs as a rookie. All before turning 20.
8. Darryl Sutter
1980-81: 40 G, 22 A, 62 PTS, 0
Darryl Sutter led the Blackhawks and all NHL rookies in 1980-81 with 40 goals. That was also a Blackhawks rookie record for a short time, as Steve Larmer would break Sutter’s record just two seasons later. Sutter finished fourth in Calder voting, with his teammate Denis Savard finishing fifth.
7. Jeremy Roenick
1989-90: 26 G, 40 A, 66 PTS, +2
Jeremy Roenick almost won the Calder Trophy the year before Ed Belfour won his. Roenick finished third in Calder voting behind a 31-year-old Sergei Makarov, and fellow American Mike Modano. Roenick is one of only five Blackhawks players to ever notch 40 assists in his rookie season. He scored his first career hat trick on December 23, 1989 in Toronto.
6. Denis Savard
1980-81: 28 G, 47 A, 75 PTS, +27
Denis Savard set the Blackhawks record for most points by a rookie in 1980-81 with 75. Steve Larmer broke that record just two years later, but Savard’s rookie season was still incredible. In his NHL debut Savard had three assists in a 4-3 win against Buffalo. His 28 goals, 47 assists and +27 rating were good for a fifth-place finish in Calder voting, behind teammate Darryl Sutter.
5. Artemi Panarin
2015-16: 30 G, 47 A, 77 PTS, +8
Only one Blackhawks rookie has ever totaled more points than Artemi Panarin (Steve Larmer, 90). He led all rookies in 2015-16 with 30 goals, 47 assists and 77 points. He also paced all rookies in power play points (24) and game-winning goals (7). Panarin is one of only five Hawks rookies to score at least 30 goals, highlighted by a hat trick on February 17 against the Rangers. Panarin was the first Blackhawks player to win the Calder Trophy since Patrick Kane.
4. Ed Belfour
1990-91: 43-19-7, 2.47 GAA, .910 SV PCT, 4 SO
In 1990-91 Blackhawks rookie goaltender Ed Belfour led the league in games played (74), wins (43), saves (1713), save percentage (.910), GAA (2.47), and minutes (4127). His 43 wins are still a Hawks franchise record. The Blackhawks won the Norris Division that season thanks in large part to Belfour and the NHL took notice with “Eddie the Eagle” winning the Calder, Vezina and Jennings trophies, as well as being a finalist for the Hart Trophy.
3. Tony Esposito
1969-70: 38-17-8, 2.17 GAA, .932 SV PCT, 15 SO
Tony Esposito had one of the most dominant rookie seasons in NHL history. He paced the NHL in wins, save percentage and shutouts. Tony O’s 15 shutouts in 1969-70 are still an all-time franchise record. His 38 wins rank third-highest, and his .932 save percentage is the second-best mark for Hawks goaltender in a single season (a number he bested just two years later). Esposito helped lead the Blackhawks to a first-place finish in the East Division as a rookie. Not only did he earn the Calder Trophy for 1969-70, he also won the Vezina and finished second in voting for the Hart Trophy.
2. Patrick Kane
2007-08: 21 G, 51 A, 72 PTS, -5
Patrick Kane’s 72 points paced all rookies in 2007-08, and his 51 assists are a Blackhawks rookie record. To put things in perspective, Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull COMBINED for 73 points in their age-19 seasons. Only three Blackhawks rookies have ever had higher point totals than Kane. He had three multi-goal games and 18 multi-point games. At 19 years old, Kane is the youngest Blackhawks player to ever win the Calder Memorial Trophy.
1. Steve Larmer
1982-83: 43 G, 47 A, 90 PTS, +44
Steve Larmer’s 43 goals and 90 points are both Blackhawks franchise records for a rookie, and only one Hawks rookie (Kane, 51) had more assists than Larmer (47). Larmer scored two hat tricks during his rookie season and had seven additional multi-goal games. He also scored five goals and had seven assists in the playoffs that season. Larmer took home the 1982-83 Calder Trophy easily with 36 first place votes.