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NHL Chicago Blackhawks

5 Best Chicago Blackhawks Under 25

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5 Best Players Under The Age Of 25

andrew shaw
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Young players are always fun to watch; whether they're 21 or 18, there's something about them. They have boundless energy and a twinkle in their eyes that you can tell makes them worth watching. Occasionally, they’ll be a flash in the pan, but there are a few players who become vital to their team.

The Chicago Blackhawks have probably the best group of young stars mixed with seasoned veterans, who have them gunning for another Stanley Cup run. While there are a few guys around 25, the focus of this particular list will be those guys under the age of 25 who have made a name for themselves on the team.

Because of this, this means that Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will not be included on the list. They’re both 25 years old and have been established stars with the Hawks since 2006 and 2007. And remember, these are guys under 25, which makes 24 the cut-off age.

The other criteria involves how long the guys have been on the team for. They must have been on the team for at least a month and/or (at least in the case of one player) have started in one or more games. But, this still means that at least one guy who fits this criteria won’t make the cut.

So, before we get started, let’s unveil our honorable mentions: Joakim Nordstrom. Nordstrom scored a goal and had an assist during his tenure with the Blackhawks, but because he didn’t play enough games and eventually petered out and was sent back down to the Rockford IceHogs, Nordstrom will not make the cut. Still, he has plenty of potential. Also not making the cut is Jeremy Morin, who has been up and down between the Hawks and the IceHogs.

Another honorable mention, and it’s really not fun to say, is Brandon Pirri, who got sent back down to Rockford at the beginning of December, despite scoring six goals and a total of 11 points. But because he’s in Rockford when he should be with the big league team, his case falls flat.

So, with that out of the way, let’s get started on the top five Blackhawks under 25!

Paul Chancey is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ChanceyPaul and add him to your network at Google+.

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5. Antti Raanta

antti raanta
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Antti Raanta just barely made the cut, because he hasn’t been with the Hawks for very long and is 24 years old. However, with the injuries to Nikolai Khabibulin and then Corey Crawford, Raanta has been thrust into an uncomfortable position. However, he’s faced his challenges with gusto and currently has a 5-0-1 record with a .926 save percentage.

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4. Nick Leddy

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Leddy, Leddy, Leddy, we love to see you play! Nick Leddy, age 22 and the former Minnesota Mr. Hockey, was a big part of the Blackhawks' 2013 Stanley Cup run on defense. His offensive numbers are not the best, but it’s when playing D that he’s most important. He’s also pretty fast, too.

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3. Marcus Kruger

marcus kruger
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The 23-year-old Swedish kid has begun to grow. Marcus Kruger was also a big part of the Blackhawks’ playoff run, scoring a fantastic goal against the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. He currently has four goals and 11 assists. While not the best, he’s certainly growing and has been vital on the penalty kill.

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2. Andrew Shaw

andrew shaw
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Shaw has to be one of the luckiest prospects imaginable. The 22 year old was passed up in two drafts before finally being picked by the Blackhawks, and then made his way onto the lineup. His breakout year was 2013 where he put his body on the line and agitated his opponents in the vein of one Brad Marchand. He’s continued with this run, scoring 10 goals and 10 assists for a total of 20 points so far.

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1. Brandon Saad

brandon saad
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

It was only natural that the Manchild would make his way here. Brandon Saad was a revelation for Blackhawks fans in 2013. While he was snubbed for the Calder Trophy, the 21-year-old Saad scored 10 goals and had a big part in the Blackhawks’ Game 1 comeback against the Bruins, scoring the Hawks' first goal of that game. This season, he’s the sixth-highest scorer on the team with 11 goals and 13 assists for a total of 24 points. He’s also making a case to be included on the Team USA Olympic roster.