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Blackhawks feature prominently in ESPN.com rankings

by Leah Pascarella / Chicago Blackhawks
(Bill Smith / Chicago Blackhawks)

ESPN.com recently asked a panel of experts – ranging from reporters to insiders – to rank players and coaches on a scale of 0 to 10 based on how they predicted the person will perform this season. The results were released this week, and to no surprise, several Blackhawks individuals were ranked among the league’s best in a number of categories.

The ESPN.com ranking covers 100 top forwards, 50 top defensemen, 25 top goaltenders and top coaches, and the Blackhawks had 11 individual nods. Jonathan Toews led Blackhawks forwards grabbing the No. 3 spot on that list, while Duncan Keith also took third in the ranks of the top 50 defensemen. Corey Crawford was ranked 14th on the list of goaltenders, and Head Coach Joel Quenneville took the No. 2 spot – just behind Los Angeles’ Darryl Sutter – for the best bench boss.

Earlier on Friday, John Buccigross revealed the top 30 overall NHL players, adding his own spin with 140-character descriptions on Twitter. Of course, several Blackhawks were spotted on this list as well, with Toews ranked highest at No. 3:

The Blackhawks’ reigning Norris Trophy winner also received plenty of praise:

The last player to make his top 30 list was the one and only Patrick Kane, ranked at 15:

Here are the rankings and point values the Blackhawks received from the panel of experts:

Top 100 forwards (scale of 0-10):
3. Jonathan Toews 9.54
6. Patrick Kane 9.08
29. Marian Hossa 7.79
32. Patrick Sharp 7.71
77. Brandon Saad 6.67

Top 50 defensemen:
3. Duncan Keith 9.43
15. Brent Seabrook 7.62
32. Niklas Hjalmarsson 6.71
44. Johnny Oduya 6.43

Top 25 goaltenders
14. Corey Crawford 6.95

Coaches:
2. Joel Quenneville 8.86

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