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. ‘Hawks farmhand Skinner signs in Czech league

    Sep 2, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks 2007 Headshots Getty Images

    Veteran AHLer had previously spent time with the Canucks, Avalanche and Islanders organizations.

  2. Red Wings GM preaches patience after slow summer

    Sep 2, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

    Ken Holland AP

    “I think it’s a great time for the Detroit Red Wings.”

  3. PHT Morning Skate: Nerds vs. dinosaurs

    Sep 2, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Dragon Con AP

    Tuesday’s collection of links.

  4. Oilers GM doesn’t anticipate a trade before training camp

    Sep 1, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 Getty Images

    Edmonton wants to assess Leon Draisaitl, it seems.

  5. Challenging early schedule looms for Sharks

    Sep 1, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT

    Antti Niemi, Marc-Edouard Vlasic AP

    Sixteen of their first 21 games are on the road.

  6. Workhorse goalies, forwards from last season

    Sep 1, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    Part two of today’s Labor Day posts.

  7. NHL’s hardest working defensemen in 2013-14

    Sep 1, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Five Getty Images

    Part one of two Labor Day “theme” posts.

  8. Johnston believes Pouliot’s ready for NHL

    Sep 1, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

    Derrick Pouliot Getty Images

    The new Penguins bench boss previously coached the young defenseman.

  9. Hitchcock: Cole has opportunity to be top-six defenseman

    Sep 1, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Ian Cole Getty Images

    The 25-year-old has been fighting for playing time since he broke into the NHL.

  10. Yeo to split Wild’s first three preseason games among three goalies

    Sep 1, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT

    Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom

    He might pick an opening game starter after that, but the battle for the top spot is likely to extend into the season.

  11. Five interesting players still on UFA market

    Sep 1, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT

    Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

    Will they have contracts by the start of the season?

  12. Boudreau thinks Heatley’s a better fit with Perry/Getzlaf than Penner

    Sep 1, 2014, 9:25 AM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    Last season’s experiment ended with Penner being traded.

  13. Trotz will still cheer for Preds ‘like crazy’

    Aug 31, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Barry Trotz AP

    He continued to follow their summer moves after he was fired.

  14. Lombardi brings Stanley Cup to Snoopy

    Aug 31, 2014, 9:44 PM EDT

    Dean Lombardi AP

    The late creator of Peanuts was a big hockey fan.

  15. Columnist: Schultz deal might complicate Avs’ talks with RFA Barrie

    Aug 31, 2014, 8:26 PM EDT

    Tyson Barrie Getty Images

    The Colorado defenseman is still a restricted free agent.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Alfredsson (2112)
  2. B. Bishop (2041)
  3. M. Fleury (1860)
  4. J. Schultz (1628)
  5. D. Krejci (1603)
  1. J. Boychuk (1575)
  2. E. Staal (1507)
  3. C. Anderson (1506)
  4. R. Lehner (1403)
  5. D. Setoguchi (1290)