You heard it correctly, folks. Brandon Pirri is the next star on a Chicago Blackhawks team already loaded with talent. The 22-year-old Toronto native made noise last year as the AHL‘s leading scorer with the Rockford IceHogs. For much of the past three years, he’s been slogging it out in the minors, waiting for his chance at the big time. Now that he’s reached the NHL, he’s made the most of his time with the Hawks.
As of right now, Pirri is the Blackhawks’ solution as a second-line center. Even though Michal Handzus will be returning to the position tonight, Pirri has consistently proven to be the Hawks’ answer at that position. His current faceoff percentage is 44.9 percent, admittedly not the best, but he’s working with Yanic Perreault on his face-offs.
Pirri had to miss the beginning of the season with a groin injury, and was replaced by Joakim Nordstrom. However, Nordstrom’s lousy play as the season progressed allowed Pirri to make the jump to the NHL.
Pirri hasn’t been a slouch either, as shown by his stats and the way he’s played. He’s scored six goals in 20 games, has five assists for a total of 11 points, and is starting to work well with Patrick Kane. It is possible that head coach Joel Quenneville kept Pirri off the team at the start of the season due to mistrust, but it appears that Quenneville likes what he sees out of him. Heck, his shootout goal on Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes was impressive, too. If anything, this youngster has a knack for scoring. He’s also coming off reduced ice time in October. He’s been averaging a total of about 12 minutes per game, and with the way he’s been playing, it can only go higher, just like his game.
Pirri is the latest in a long line of young Blackhawks hot shots, and it looks like he’s going to continue that tradition. It’s even possible that somewhere down the line, he’ll be one of the Blackhawks’ top players. He’s already shown he has potential.