Earlier in the season, Andrew Shaw became a social media phenomenon in Chicago. But a subsequent trip to Rockford showed that the organization wasn’t tying their lineup to Twitter’s trending topics.
However, since being recalled, Shaw has continued to make in impact. Indeed, looking deeper into his numbers show that he’s having a very impressive rookie season.
Shaw was the 139th overall selection in the fifth round of the 2011 Draft by the Blackhawks. After turning a lot of heads, and catching the eye of a number of key upper management members, during the team’s rookie camp, he signed a contract with the IceHogs to make the move to the AHL.
It wasn’t until Jan. 3 that the Blackhawks signed Shaw to an entry-level contract.
Since then, Shaw has scored seven goals and added five assists. He has accumulated 29 penalty minutes, and is minus-eight with the Hawks. Shaw has also been credited with 59 hits and 19 blocked shots.
He’s brought a lot of energy and some impressive play in key situations to the NHL club, which is what led to the social media explosion earlier in the season. Despite being generously listed at 5’10″ and 180 pounds, he’s shown a willingness to fight anyone and plays with a reckless abandon that the veterans have, for the most part, failed to display this year.
But here’s where Shaw’s number become even more impressive.
Among current NHL rookies, only 14 players have more than seven goals this season. Only one of those players – Philadelphia’s Brayden Schenn – has played in fewer than 50 games (Schenn has played in 43). Shaw has played in only 27 games to date.
Only three players from the 2011 Draft class – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (number 1 overall), Gabriel Landeskog (number 2 overall) and Sean Couturier (number 8 overall) – have scored more than Shaw’s seven goals in the NHL this season. Among players picked in last summer’s draft, Shaw has been one of the most productive.
However, there is more context to add that makes Shaw’s production even more impressive.
Of all the players drafted since 2008, only seven selected after the second round have scored more goals in the NHL than Shaw in their careers. Five of those are from 2008, and three of those were third round picks. Of the seven players drafted between 2008-11 with more than seven career NHL goals, one is Shaw’s frequent linemate, Marcus Kruger (a fifth round pick himself in 2009).
Is Shaw the most talented player selected in the last four drafts? That’s doubtful. But he has been more productive early in his career than prospects that are higher regarded (and paid).