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Defencemen power Chicago Blackhawks to NHL's most potent offence

Wednesday, 12.25.2013 / 10:45 AM / News

The Canadian Press

CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks lead the NHL with 145 goals, and their defencemen are playing a key role in the prolific attack.

Duncan Keith leads all NHL defencemen with 30 assists. Niklas Hjalmarsson is on pace for career highs in goals and assists. Brent Seabrook has three goals and 23 assists after he had 20 points in 47 games last season. Nick Leddy and Johnny Oduya also have provided valuable support on the offence.

It's hard enough for teams to deal with such forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Now, when Keith & Co. are coming up and taking aim, the Blackhawks turn into a goaltender's nightmare.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery