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Shaw likes ‘big responsiblity’ of centering Sharp, Hossa

Apr 4, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 7: Andrew Shaw #65 of the Chicago Blackhawks reacts after scoring against the Nashville Predators in the first period during the NHL game on April 07, 2013 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

With Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane shut down for the remainder of the regular season, a number of Blackhawks forwards have been given the opportunity for extended minutes and bigger roles — none more than Andrew Shaw.

Shaw has been taking some spins as the club’s top center between Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp lately and, needless to say, he’s stoked — but also realizes the promotion comes with great obligation.

“It’s a big responsibility and I like taking that on,” Shaw said, per the Chicago Tribune. “I have to play strong defensively and compete in those puck areas, get the puck out.”

Shaw, 22, is the embodiment of what’s made Chicago such a successful organization over the last five years. A fifth-round pick at the ’11 NHL Entry Draft, he’s proven to be a hidden gem, debuting in 2011-12 (how many 5th-rounders debut in their draft year?), then playing a huge role en route to last year’s Stanley Cup.

This season, he’s scored a career-high 19 goals and 36 points.

While there are still areas of his game that needs improvement — most notably in the faceoff circle, where he’s just 44 percent this year — the fact Shaw has gone from a fifth-round pick to centering Hossa and Sharp in the span of three years is evidence to how well the ‘Hawks have drafted, and how much their player development is aided by surrounding youngsters with veteran talent.

“Obviously I’m playing with great players,” Shaw explained. “Hopefully we can create some chemistry here.”

  1. sjsharks66 - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    I have a feeling this will effect Sharp and Hossa in a negative way. Shaw is no first line center.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      While you’re right in saying Shaw is no 1st line C, Sharp and Hossa are too good to be held back by Shaw. He actually has stepped up when needed. That said, I’d expect to see a revolving door scenario in that spot for the next 5 games.

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