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Where Are They Now: Black Hawks in the NHL, 12/2

By WBH, 12/02/21, 5:00PM CST

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All but three NHL clubs have played at least 20 games as the 2021/22 season chugs along.  A number of former Black Hawks are chugging along too, especially Joe Pavelski who achieved another stratospheric milestone near the end of last month.  Here are the Hawks alumni producing the highest scoring numbers at this stage of the season:

Player

Team

GP

G

A

Pts

Joe Pavelski

Dallas

20

7

10

17

Brandon Montour

Florida

22

2

8

10

Brock Boeser

Vancouver

21

4

5

9

Rem Pitlick

Minnesota

13

4

5

9

Vinnie Hinostroza

Buffalo

22

2

7

9

Here are some notes on each of the 12 Hawks who have played in at least one NHL game this season.

Mikey Anderson – Los Angeles Kings
(Waterloo: 2015/16 – 2016/17)

Anderson is one of five Waterloo alumni who have appeared in every game for his respective NHL club during the current season.  In Anderson’s case, that means 21 appearances for the Kings.  He notched his first point of the season with an assist against the Ottawa Senators on November 27th.  The 22-year-old is tied for fourth on the team in plus/minus at +3.  As of Tuesday, Anderson was reunited with defensemate Drew Doughty, who had been out of the lineup since late October due to an injury.  Anderson and Doughty are expected to be paired tonight when the Kings meet Calgary.

Brock Boeser – Vancouver Canucks
(Waterloo: 2014/15)

In December of 2019, Boeser had a very productive month, notching 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 13 games.  A similar run as the calendar cycles towards its end once more could give the Canucks a timely boost.  Currently, Vancouver is trying to climb from the bottom of the Pacific Division, and up from being the 26th-ranked scoring offense in the NHL.  Individually, Boeser has four goals and five assists this year.  His nine points stand seventh on the team.

Mark Friedman – Pittsburgh Penguins
(Waterloo: 2012/13 – 2013/14)

As the Penguins defensive corps has become healthier, Friedman’s ice time has been limited.  In fact, his last game was on November 13th, when he had an assist against the Ottawa Senators.  When Friedman was seeing steady work early this season, he made the most of the opportunity: in 11 games, he produced four assists and a +3 plus/minus differential.

Vinnie Hinostroza – Buffalo Sabres
(Waterloo: 2010/11 – 2012/13)

Hinostroza is likely to play in his 300th career NHL game between now and Christmas.  His current total stands at 294.  Twenty-two of those games have come with the Buffalo Sabres this fall.  Hinostroza has two goals and seven assists with his new team, with six of those points coming last month.  The 27-year-old is finding more opportunities with the Sabres than while bouncing between several clubs over the past few seasons.  His 18:23 of ice time against Seattle on November 4th was his highest total since April of 2019, when Hinostroza skated over 21 minutes in a game for Arizona.

Jacob MacDonald – Colorado Avalanche
(Waterloo: 2009/10 – 2010/11)

For much of November, MacDonald was in the American Hockey League with the Colorado Eagles.  He has appeared in three NHL games for the Avalanche during 2021/22.

Brandon Montour – Florida Panthers
(Waterloo: 2013/14 – 2014/15)

Only two Florida Panthers defensemen have scored a goal this season: Aaron Ekblad has six and Montour has produced two.  Ekblad and Montour are also the only two Panther blue-liners to have recorded any points in power play situations.  Five of Montour’s ten total points (two goals, eight assists) have been on special teams.  He is also +1 this year, while skating in all 22 Panther games.  Florida currently holds the second spot in the Atlantic Division.  The Panthers take the ice ten times from tonight through the league’s holiday break.

Tom Novak – Nashville Predators
(Waterloo: 2014/15)

Novak just missed the start of the season, but was quickly called up from the AHL.  He has become a regular in the lineup, appearing in 19 games.  Tuesday night during 6-0 win versus Columbus, Novak tallied his first assist of the season.  The rookie has even earned some time on special teams; three of his points have come on the power play.  He set a season-high for ice time at 15:25 on November 24th when the Predators hosted Vegas.

Joe Pavelski – Dallas Stars
(Waterloo: 2002/03 – 2003/04)

With two early goals against Colorado on November 26th, Pavelski reached 400 during his NHL career.  He is the 102nd skater in the league’s history to surpass the milestone.  That night was the first of three consecutive multipoint games.  Pavelski charted two more assists against Arizona on November 27th, then a goal and two assists Tuesday versus Carolina.  With 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists), he currently paces the Stars’ offense.  His +6 plus/minus differential stands second on the team.  The Stars host Columbus this evening.

Cal Petersen – Los Angeles Kings
(Waterloo: 2011/12 – 2013/14)

During five November starts, Petersen went 3-1-1.  His most recent appearance was a 30-save effort during a 4-2 Kings win against Ottawa on November 27th.  That victory boosted Petersen’s season record to 5-3-1.  It was also the third game this winter in which he has made 30 or more saves.  L.A.’s offense has not provided overwhelming goal support for either Petersen or Jonathan Quick; the Kings are averaging just 2.67 goals per game, 25th in the NHL.  Petersen is the projected starter for tonight’s matchup with Calgary.

Rem Pitlick – Minnesota Wild
(Waterloo: 2014/15)

Pitlick’s first NHL goal came on November 13th in Seattle.  He added two others in that game to complete at hat trick.  After previously playing in 11 games for the Nashville Predators over parts of two seasons, Minnesota claimed him off waivers just before the start of the season.  Pitlick has appeared in 13 games for the Wild this year.  He has four goals and five assists with a +3 rating.

Zach Sanford – Ottawa Senators
(Waterloo: 2013/14)

On November 22nd, Sanford celebrated his first NHL hat trick, scoring three times in a 7-5 road loss against Colorado.  It was Ottawa’s first game after the team’s schedule was disrupted for much of November by a coronavirus outbreak.  Sanford’s other two goals came shortly before that unexpected stoppage.  He has five goals and an assist since being traded just prior to the regular season.  John Gruden is the only other former Black Hawk to ever play for the Senators.  Sanford is on track to surpass Gruden’s 22 games with Ottawa early next week.

Craig Smith – Boston Bruins
(Waterloo: 2006/07 – 2008/09)

Smith notched points in back-to-back games on November 24th and 26th.  On Thanksgiving eve, he tallied an assist against Buffalo.  Then on Black Friday, he scored a goal against the New York Rangers.  Smith now has four points this season after a goal and an assist at Philadelphia on November 20th.  The Bruins have been at their best on home ice this season, making their schedule for the next few weeks particularly daunting: seven of their next nine are on the road.  The run begins tonight versus Smith’s former team, the Nashville Predators.

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