Skip to content

Hobey Baker winner LeBlanc to make NHL debut tonight

Apr 24, 2013, 2:58 PM EDT

leblanc

Drew LeBlanc‘s year just keeps getting better.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Blackhawks — who signed LeBlanc on the same day he won the Hobey Baker — announced he’d be making his NHL debut against Edmonton tonight.

The news had to come as a surprise to the 23-year-old St. Cloud State product.

Last week, he told the Chicago Sun-Times he didn’t expect to suit up for the ‘Hawks this season, having only joined the club one day after his collegiate career ended (with a Frozen Four semifinal loss to Quinnipiac.)

“No,” LeBlanc replied when asked if he expected to see any playing time. “I’m just here to work hard, have fun, take it all in, learn what it’s like to be a professional and get as many pointers as possible.”

He’s going to get a lot more than that.

According to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, LeBlanc will center Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp against the Oilers, which is a pretty good way to kick off your professional career.

The move to insert LeBlanc makes sense on a number of fronts.

One, the ‘Hawks have little to play for with just three games left in the season — they’ve already clinched first overall in the Western Conference and winning the Presidents’ Trophy is a formality at this point (a victory of any kind tonight will clinch it.)

The move also makes sense due to LeBlanc’s playing status being in limbo.

He was ineligible to join AHL Rockford because he signed after the trade deadline (Rockford’s season is now over), which also made him ineligible for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Burrows ‘surprised, upset’ he received a major penalty for hit on Gaustad

    Apr 1, 2015, 1:41 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Could the Vancouver forward be facing further discipline from the league?

  2. ‘We just didn’t have it tonight': Lightning lose to Maple Leafs

    Apr 1, 2015, 1:17 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Tampa Bay is in a battle for the Atlantic Division.

  3. Canucks’ Bieksa penalized for illegal check to the head

    Mar 31, 2015, 9:38 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Could Vancouver’s veteran defenseman be looking at a suspension?

  4. NHL bringing back draft pick compensation this offseason for hiring away coaches, GMs

    Mar 31, 2015, 7:49 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

    3rd-round pick if it happens after the season, 2nd-rounder if it happens in-season.

  5. Contract stalemate continues between Columbus, prized prospect Reilly

    Mar 31, 2015, 6:59 PM EDT

    2014 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship - Semifinals Getty Images

    University of Minnesota blueliner inching closer to free agency.

  6. Bettman shoots down idea of renaming NHL awards

    Mar 31, 2015, 6:41 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Awards - Arrivals Getty Images

    So the Hart will not, as some have suggested, become the Gretzky.

  7. Versteeg misses Kane

    Mar 31, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks

    Blackhawks duo “had a good thing going.”

  8. Pressure’s on the Jets, who don’t want to blow it now

    Mar 31, 2015, 3:38 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    Could really use a win tonight versus the Rangers.

  9. Despite trend of visitors winning Game 7, Laviolette wants home ice for Preds

    Mar 31, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    Peter Laviolette AP

    “I can speak from experience that home ice matters.”

  10. Goalie nods: Hamburglar goes for Ottawa

    Mar 31, 2015, 2:13 PM EDT

    Andrew Hammond Andrew Hammond

    News and notes from around the crease…

Featured video

Can anything stop Tampa Bay?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Letang (1852)
  2. D. Dubnyk (1728)
  3. A. Steen (1693)
  4. H. Lundqvist (1665)
  5. A. Hammond (1651)
  1. M. St. Louis (1605)
  2. P. Datsyuk (1586)
  3. E. Malkin (1511)
  4. B. Little (1510)
  5. S. Weber (1365)