Chicago Blackhawks: How Good Can Andrew Shaw Become in the Next Two Years?
After a breakout Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chicago Blackhawks winger Andrew Shaw has gotten the contract extension he deserves, meaning Blackhawks fans will enjoy Shaw and his lovely shin pads through the 2015-16 NHL season.
“It’s great to come to this agreement with Andrew and keep another important member of our team here in Chicago” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement on the Blackhawks website. “Andrew has proven his ability to play a prominent role on our team and we look forward to watching him continue to grow as a player for the Blackhawks.”
Shaw now becomes the second player on the third line to get a restructured contract, joining fellow winger Bryan Bickell, whom Shaw has had excellent chemistry with on the third line. Yet, while Bickell is in the first year of a four-year, $16 million contract, he has struggled to date, unlike Shaw.
Hopefully, the post-negotiation struggle is not contagious, as Shaw is on pace for a 50 point season, tallying four goals and seven assists in 18 games this season. Shaw was selected in the fifth round and has survived through the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, elevating himself past established prospects to now become a fan-favorite.
Looking forward there is nothing holding Shaw back from becoming a consistent top six player in the future. Shaw’s game is evolving while still ranking third among centers in hits this year. That is more impressive considering Shaw has only registered eight penalty minutes on the season, signifying the physicality and discipline of someone beyond his years.
Now solidified on the wing, Shaw has found his role as a pest when needed and someone who can be a scorer for years to come. The NHL is evolving quickly, and Shaw’s role can certainly change on not only a night-by-night basis but on a year-by-year one as well. Shaw, however, should never forget what kind of player he is and should deliver the same physicality and intensity he has throughout his first two seasons for the next two.
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