Troy Brouwer has 18 goals and 32 points in 61 games for the Hawks this season. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
A talented young prospect in the Chicago organization is in for a tough road. This was apparent even prior to the team’s resurgence as an NHL power. The Hawks are deep up front throughout its system. When one young player makes an impact in this lineup, another youngster sees the window of opportunity grow smaller.
But Troy Brouwer has prevailed.
The 6-foot-2, 213-pound power forward has solidified himself in the top-nine for good, after spending the majority of last season with the big club. As a result, other prospects, the biggest name being Jack Skille, will have to wait even longer for their chance.
The 24-year-old Brouwer is an under-the-radar commodity in fantasy circles. Despite tallying 28 points and earning a plus-11 over his past 46 games, he is owned in just 13 percent of Yahoo leagues. He’s not talked about in keeper leagues, either, despite the fact that he will likely finish with 45 points in his first full NHL season.
Take a good look at him, folks. For the past 35 or 40 games he has clicked nicely on a line with some guy named Patrick Kane and some other Olympian named Jonathan Toews. Talk about winning the lottery. Brouwer’s size and power game are important commodities in the NHL and if he has decent hands as well, that makes him the type of player all teams covet to play with their skill guys.
In other words – Brouwer could be playing with Kane and Toews for a long time.
I had always pegged Brouwer as a power forward with the potential for 60 points. I just figured in a system like Chicago’s we would probably never see it. Now that he’s jumped the hurdle, reaching his potential looks promising. In fact, you can tack on another 10 points this season thanks to the company he is keeping. Look for another big step in 2010-11…
Atlanta rookie Evander Kane has nine points in his past 12 games. With Ilya Kovalchuk out of the picture, Kane has watched his ice time rise slightly, now hovering around the 14:30 mark. With 22 games left in the season, it wouldn’t shock me to see him tally another 14 points and then break through with 65-plus as a sophomore. Still smarting from the loss of Kovalchuk, Atlanta fans may not have fully embraced their new future star. But they will…
Farm Report: The rich get richer. The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t the only dominant team that is also deep in its system.
The Washington Capitals are no slouches, either. Mathieu Perreault (mentioned previously HERE) is a diminutive center who not only impressed in training camp, but also during an 18-game stint earlier this season (seven points). The former Quebec League scoring sensation performed so well that if the Caps need a cheap option for a second-line center if Brendan Morrison leaves as a free agent in the summer, they could just look to Perreault.
Francois Bouchard, another former Quebec League scoring sensation, has also been improving steadily in the American League and if that continues he’ll be on the Caps in 2011. He’s a right winger on a team that is too deep on the left side, which makes him a great fit.
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