In an organization with plenty of talent stockpiled throughout the ranks, much of the attention for the youngsters has fallen on Brandon Saad and Teuvo Teravainen. They’re seen as future studs for this team in the very near future. And if their respective skill sets are any indication, they easily could be.
But one recent draftee who hasn’t gotten nearly the attention that he deserves is Phillip Danault. Coming out of the same draft as Saad, Andrew Shaw, and Adam Clendening obviously explains that, but this kid could be a star in the making for the Chicago Blackhawks.
The current captain of the Victoraville Tigres of the QMJHL, Danault has put on a show early on this season. He was drafted in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, with the pick that was acquired from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Troy Brouwer.
Danault hasn’t come with nearly the fanfare of the likes of Saad or Teravainen, but that could easily change soon. He’s a 19-year-old captain for the Tigres, after he took the ‘C’ at 17, which speaks volumes by itself. But his performance has also had a lot to say about the potential of this kid.
He already has 25 points in 14 games for Victoraville. He could easily eclipse his 71 in 62 from last season. Moving to the middle, he’s already in a position of need for the Blackhawks. He’s not the biggest guy on the ice, but what he lacks in size, he more than makes up for in skill.
Danault plays a strong two-way game, he’s versatile, and is an excellent playmaker. With no true second line center currently on the roster, the door is open for Danault to make his move to Chicago in the very near future. The only question for him is going to be when that actually happens.
And it could be as soon as this season. If Phillip Danault continues the remainder of the year with the Tigres in the same way that he started it, he could very well be in line for a call-up to the Blackhawks towards the end of the season, assuming there is one. If not, expect him to make a big play for a spot at the beginning of next season, and could be a threat to jump right into the top six.