To this point in the season, much of the Hart Trophy buzz related to the Chicago Blackhawks has fallen squarely on Patrick Kane. And it’s well deserved. Every bit of praise that Kane gets this year, he has absolutely earned with what we’ve seen from him this year.
But he’s not the only member of the Blackhawks that should be working his way into the conversation for the Hart, as the league’s most valuable player. In fact, Jonathan Toews should be right along side him in as a potential candidate for the award.
Though it hasn’t been as flashy as the season of Patrick Kane has been, Jonathan Toews has been phenomenal for the Hawks all season long. The value that he brings to this team is nearly impossible to overstate. He’s key in pretty much every facet of the game.
Toews’ 40 points on the year are good for 13th in the league. He’s seventh in goals scored, just one behind Kane. But anyone who has followed Jonathan Toews even the slightest bit knows that his game goes far beyond what he does on the stat sheet.
One of the game’s most complete centers, if not the best all-around forward, Toews is exceptional in his own end. He’s an absolute menace in the faceoff circle, winning about 61 percent of his draws. Only Patrice Bergeron has a better percentage.
He’s also a key piece on both special teams. Five of his points have come on the power play and he’s added a pair of shorthanded goals, which is tied for second in the league.
Given how many different ways that Toews is capable of impacting a game, it’s easy to just throw his name in there for the Hart Trophy discussion at any point. He’s that important to the Hawks. But this season in particular, we’ve seen Toews maintain an extremely high level of play, both for himself and helping his teammates to approach that level as well.