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A Saad-isfying surge, and other notes from the system

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks
Photo courtesy of Terry Rankin/Saginaw Spirit

Blackhawks prospect Brandon Saad has been burning up the Ontario Hockey League as of late. In 16 games through January and part of February, Saad has put up 32 points (11G, 21A), contributing to his lofty total of 54 (21G, 33A) in 30 appearances. He is currently working on a 12-game point streak, the last 11 after he was named Saginaw captain on Jan. 17, and is averaging a team-best 1.8 points per game, good for the second highest scoring rate in the OHL behind Sarnia's Nail Yakupov, who is likely to be taken first overall in this summer's NHL Entry Draft.

After Saad's two-game stint with the Blackhawks at the start of this season, he was sent back to the Saginaw Spirit and made it clear from the outset that he had benefited from his time in Chicago. Three games into his OHL season, Saad recorded five points (4G, 1A) against the Brampton Battalion, marking the beginning of an offensive surge that would produce 18 points in eight October appearances.

Other notes:
  • Two Blackhawks prospects took part in the historical Beanpot Tournament final last night. The Boston College Eagles defeated the No. 2 Boston University Terriers 3-2 in a wild overtime finish, as CGY prospect Bill Arnold potted the game-winner with 6.4 seconds left in the extra frame. BC forward Kevin Hayes (24th overall, 2010) was held scoreless in two Beanpot contests, while BU defender Adam Clendening (36th, 2011) recorded an assist on the game-tying power-play goal in the third period for his 23rd helper of the season.
  • Top goalie prospect Alexander Salak made his return to Rockford in a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Wolves, stopping 27 of 28 shots. Salak was sidelined by a lower-body injury in early December and missed two months. In 14 appearances, he has a 4-6-0 record with a 2.73 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.
  • Everett Silvertips goalie Kent Simpson is 7-3 in his last 10 starts, including a season-high four-game win streak in which he made 108 saves on 117 shots for a .923 save percentage.
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