Chicago fans hoping to see Drew LeBlanc in the lineup this year might end up disappointed.
On Monday, the 2013 Hobey Baker winner told the Chicago Sun-Times he doesn’t expect to suit up for the ‘Hawks this season, having only joined the club one day after his collegiate career ended.
“No,” LeBlanc replied when asked if he expected to see any playing time. “I’m just here to work hard, have fun, take it all in, learn what it’s like to be a professional and get as many pointers as possible.”
On Friday, LeBlanc beat out Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau and Quinnipiac’s Eric Hartzell to capture the Hobey, becoming the first St. Cloud State player to ever win the award.
The 23-year-old was the WCHA’s Player and Student Athlete of the Year in 2013, leading the Huskies to their first-ever Frozen Four appearance.
He also led the country with 37 assists this year and finished seventh in the nation in points, with 50.
As for his pro career…well, he’s in a bit of limbo at the moment due to the timing of his contract (he signed a one-year deal on Apr. 12).
LeBlanc’s ineligible to join AHL Rockford because he signed after the trade deadline, and is also ineligible for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
As such, the ‘Hawks plan on monitoring him during practices and workouts to decide if they want to renew his deal this summer, when he’ll become a restricted free agent.
“This is a professional organization from the top down,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “They have a good reputation for developing young players and I hope to be one of those guys.”