Brandon Saad’s great work throughout Chicago’s training camp is earning him notice from Joel Quenneville in a big way. The Blackhawks made their latest round of roster cuts in camp and Saad’s name wasn’t on the list of five players sent out of camp. Fellow impressive youngster Brandon Pirri was sent down to the AHL as was last year’s surprise upstart Marcus Kruger.
The big story here is with Saad. He was Chicago’s second round pick in 2011 and while he was projected to be a first round talent, he fell back to 43rd overall and into Chicago’s lap. Saad’s slip down the draft board isn’t lost on him and he’s been out to prove himself all throughout training camp. Mission accomplished as he’s going to start the year with Chicago and at least get nine games to show whether or not he belongs.
The chances for Saad to stick around longer than nine games are likely pretty thin as Viktor Stalberg and Patrick Sharp are questionable to play in the first game of the year. While Sharp is much closer to coming back than Stalberg, Ben Smith is feeling much better since getting knocked out by Detroit’s Brendan Smith. Saad’s window to show off is likely thin, but if he breaks out in a big way he could force Chicago’s hand in keeping him around for the season.