Really, the highlight of Andrew Shaw’s season should’ve come at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. It was there the former Owen Sound player was selected by Chicago in the fifth round — 139th overall — despite being pegged by many as a sixth-round selection.
Sixth to fifth round — pretty good progress, right?
Turns out it was just the beginning.
After starring at training camp and with AHL Rockford (12G-9A in 33 games), Shaw was summoned to the Blackhawks seven games ago. All he’s done since then is score four goals, watch his ice time increase and thoroughly impress his head coach, Joel Quenneville.
“It’s pretty remarkable — you’ve got a guy like Shawsy who gives you some offense but his instincts in all aspects are high end,” Quenneville told CSN Chicago. “He’s a real resilient kind of guy. He just keeps going. He’s got a quick stick, patience with the puck and good play recognition.”
Shaw, 20, was given the ‘Hawks “championship belt” (awarded nightly to the player of the game) after potting the game-winning goal against San Jose on Sunday. It was his third straight game with a goal; he also played 16:51, put five shots on net, registered three hits and went six-for-six in the faceoff circle, a performance that caught the eye of Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.
“That Shaw kid had a great game,” he said. “Out-did our group, there’s no doubt about it.”
It’ll be interesting to watch Shaw moving forward. He’s more of a rambunctious, energy-type than a natural goalscorer (never scored more than 22 in junior) but with Quenneville playing him on a line with Marian Hossa and Viktor Stalberg, the opportunities for offense will certainly keep coming.
As for what Shaw thinks?
“Coming into the NHL, you don’t expect four goals in seven games. It’s just a bonus,” he said. “It’s given me a lot of satisfaction, a lot of confidence.”