The Chicago Blackhawks had some difficulty in the beginning of the season establishing solid, unstoppable lines. The offense has no doubt stepped up over the course of the season, but one player has worked his way up and proved his worth.
Brandon Pirri was drafted to the Blackhawks organization and spent time in Rockford with the AHL. He was called up to the Blackhawks on October 11 after appearing in six games with the Icehogs.
In the beginning, he started out on the third and fourth lines on wing and has been able to deliver two goals and three assists. After that he had my attention. It is almost as if this player came out of nowhere and has been skating hard and fast to the net and setting up assists whenever he can.
The 22 year old center is getting his chance to play center in the No. 2 spot with Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad. Intimidating players to keep up with, no doubt, but Pirri is out to prove he can.
With Michael Handzus sidelined, this young hockey player is getting the chance to shine. Since being called up in October, Pirri has received little ice time, but he has made the most of it.
Coach Joel Quenneville remarked “We’re still looking for who’s going to be that guy. It’s an opportunity for Brandon to hopefully grab that. We certainly feel he can play there.”
The organization has faith in the young player, but he still has a bit of a road ahead to prove himself. Pirri must be able to step up and dominate the role of the No. 2 center. Then, once Handzus makes a return to the ice, Pirri will need to adjust accordingly.
I’m not saying that with the return of Handzus, Pirri should be cast aside. I am saying, however, that Pirri must be able to adapt to the changing lines of the Blackhawks. The more consistent he proves to be, the more ice time he will get which, in theory, means more goals.
Pirri has a lot of talent. He is young and has a long career ahead of him. If he continues to work well with the team he could find himself as a permanent and integral fixture of the Chicago Blackhawks organization.