At the start of the season, the Blackhawks looked very different from past seasons. Gone were some of the popular faces, replaced by young players with next to no experience in the NHL. It hasn’t always been an easy transition, but the Blackhawks are getting production from these new faces.
On the year, there have been seven different players to score their first career goal. Phillip Danault joined that group Friday night when he scored the game winning goal against Buffalo.
Phillip Danault: 7th different #Blackhawks player to score first career NHL goal this season— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) January 9, 2016
The list: Panarin, van Riemsdyk, Svedberg, Kero, Rasmussen, Mashinter & Danault#Blackhawks— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) January 9, 2016
Only five of the seven players are still with the Blackhawks, but the production is there, nonetheless.
What’s made this year such a success for the Blackhawks so far is the combined execution of both young stars and veterans. The combination of Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane have the second most points in all of the NHL.
The Blackhawks have an opportunity to add to that list of seven names. Defenseman Erik Gustafsson is still without a goal in his career. However, he did notch his first career point Friday with an assist on Niklas Hjalmarsson’s goal. Goalies Corey Crawford and Scott Darling are without a career goal as well, but those seem significantly less likely.