Niklas Hjalmarsson: Offensive Spark?

Remember a couple years ago when many fans in Chicago took issue with Niklas Hjalmarsson’s seemingly-limited offensive capabilities?

Through 17 games, Hjalmarsson is producing at a pace that will blow away his previous career highs.

Hjalmarsson

The best offensive season of Hjalmarsson’s young career was the 2009-10 season, when he posted 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) in 77 regular season games. Over the two seasons that followed the Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory – and Hjalmarsson’s subsequent offer sheet with San Jose – the Hawks received only 25 points from him in 149 games.

Coming into this season, Hjalmarsson had only posted 56 points in 306 career regular season games.

This season, however, a more confident Hjalmarsson has become a more consistent offensive threat. The 26-year-old has continued to play his stellar defense, but he’s become an added weapon on the blue line for coach Joel Quenneville.

Through 17 games, Hjalmarsson already has nine points (two goals, seven assists); he had only┬áten points (two goals, eight assists) in 46 games during last year’s lockout-shortened regular season. He’s producing at a 40-point pace, which has to surprise even his most loyal fans.

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2 Responses to Niklas Hjalmarsson: Offensive Spark?

  1. ebonyraptor says:

    I kinda expected Leddy to break out offensively this season, and maybe he still will, but not Hjalmarsson. After hoping for more offense from hammer the last several years, I finally got to the point where I didn’t even think about it coming into this season. I was happy with his defensive game and as long as he kept playing that way, that was good enough. Hammer played in the Italian league during the lockout last season and actually put up decent offensive numbers, so I hoped he would bring that offensive confidence back from Europe, but the results were the same old great defense and shot blocking but never wandering into the offensive zone very often. But from early on this season he has been not only getting more involved in the offense – he’s actually been serving up passes from beneath the goal line. His shot has always seened adequate, if not good, but he never used it much. This season he seems to be using it more. I don’t know if it’s a confidence thing or Q has encouraged him to jump in more often, or both – but the early returns are encouraging.

  2. Peter says:

    What about his switch in D sides. This is potentially a bigger deal than I am making it, and I am not sure if this is still the case this season, but he switched D sides last year. Is offense a little bit better suited to the side of the ice he is playing now versus in the past. I know there is rotation on the blue line during some offensive plays, but maybe he is entering the zone more often on his comfortable hand side…regardless we are stealing his services for the next four years if he plays like this for the entirety of his contract.

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