Here's something we didn't expect a month ago. The Chicago Blackhawks' 2011 second-rounder Brandon Saad will probably start the season with the Blackhawks after a very strong camp. ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers reports that the Blackhawks are currently negotiating a contract with Saad.
Now, it's unclear whether Saad will stick with the Blackhawks beyond the nine-game mark. After that, he'll stick with the Hawks for the season; before that, he can still be sent to his junior club.
Saad's draft stock fell significantly leading up to the draft, so it's not like his name is coming completely out of the blue. He was once considered a potential mid-first-rounder, but he didn't play up to expectations in his first major junior hockey season.
The HockeyFanLand Insight:
I watched a lot of Blackhawks’ games this preseason - young 18-year old Brandon Saad appeared in all of them. Managing to do something noticeable in each. I'm extremely excited with the news Saad is at least going to be given his 10-game shot. There has been a lot of talk about how the Pittsburgh natives draft stock fell... I for one had Saad pegged as a first-round pick, and based on his performance so far in the preseason; Saad could be the steal of the draft.
Another promising prospect to keep an eye on this season is Brandon Pirri, who netted 4 goals in four preseason games to lead the Blackhawks.