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18 Days of Blackhawks Drafts: Jeremy Roenick (1988)

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks

Before the Blackhawks take the podium to announce the 18th overall selection of the 2012 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks Blog takes you through the history of the team's greatest draft picks, and how they spent their time in the Blackhawks sweater.

C Jeremy Roenick - Selected 8th overall in the 1988 Entry Draft

One of the greatest American-born scorers in franchise and league history, Roenick was an undisputed gem for the Blackhawks, who selected him in the first round of the 1988 Entry Draft.

Roenick was famously courted by Wayne Gretzky over breakfast in an attempt to lure the young phenom to the Hull Olympiques, the junior team that Gretzky owned. Roenick played 28 games for Hull that season before going to the World Junior Championship held in Anchorage and dominating on a line with Mike Modano and John Leclair. Roenick's 70 points (34G, 36A) in juniors and 16 points (8G, 8A) at the WJC caught the eye of Chicago brass, and he was called up toward the end of the 1988-89 season. In 20 regular-season NHL games, Roenick logged nine goals and nine helpers, before tacking on four points in 10 playoff games en route to the conference final.

After joining the Blackhawks full-time that autumn, Roenick went on to become one of the franchise’s most prolific scorers, logging 596 points in 524 total games. He played a starring role in the squad’s run to the 1992 Stanley Cup Final, tallying 103 points, including a career-high 53 goals, in the regular season. In 18 playoff games, Roenick registered 22 points (12G, 10A), as the Blackhawks won 11 consecutive games—a franchise record—before being swept by Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Final.

Roenick hit full stride the following year, recording 107 points in each of the next two campaigns and becoming the first Blackhawk to score 50-plus goals in back-to-back seasons since Bobby Hull accomplished that feat from 1965-67. Injuries prevented Roenick from hitting even greater heights, as he missed 15 games in a shortened 1994-95 campaign, and sat out 11 more toward the end of the following season, his last as a Blackhawk.

Roenick’s 267 goals in a Blackhawks sweater are ranked seventh in franchise history, one less than childhood friend—and later linemate—Tony Amonte; his 329 assists are the 11th most all-time.

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