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Photo Courtesy of the San Jose Sharks

Where Are They Now Feature: One Season Ends, Another Begins

By WBH, 04/12/18, 3:45PM CDT

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PRESENTED BY KAREN’S PRINT RITE

Where Are They Now Feature: One Season Ends, Another Begins

The 2017/18 NHL campaign was a great year for former Black Hawks at the NHL level.  Nine alumni appeared in at least one game, a new single-season high for the Waterloo program.  Collectively, the recently-passed season surpassed all other years on most statistical categories.

Joe Pavelski played in every Sharks game for the seventh time during his 12 years in the league.  It was also the seventh time the San Jose captain has scored 60 or more points.  The year included Pavelski’s 300th career NHL goal and set him up to record his 700th point early next fall.

The best rookie season ever by a former Black Hawk came to a premature end.  Brock Boeser was injured in late February and missed more than a month at the end of the schedule.  Nonetheless, he still led the Vancouver Canucks in goals (29) and points (55).

In Nashville, Craig Smith set a new personal best with 25 goals.  His 51 points were just one short of his 2013/14 total.  With a plus/minus differential at +20, Smith was also in record territory.

While it was an off year for the Chicago Blackhawks, Vinnie Hinostroza was a significant bright spot.  Joining the team permanently in December, Hinostroza was +5 (ranking second on the Chicago roster) with 25 points, cruising past the 14 points he produced last season in a nearly an identical number of games.

Here are the Waterloo alumni by the numbers, both individually and as a group:

Player

Games

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

Joe Pavelski

82

22

44

66

0

41

Brock Boeser

62

29

26

55

-5

16

Craig Smith

79

25

26

51

20

24

Brandon Montour

80

9

23

32

16

42

Vinnie Hinostroza

50

7

18

25

5

10

J.T. Brown

47

2

5

7

-5

24

Ian McCoshen

38

3

1

4

-10

25

Blake Hillman

4

1

0

1

-1

0

Justin Kloos

1

0

0

0

0

2

Total

443

98

143

241

20

184

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are next.  While the postseason officially began on Wednesday, the opening round series involving Black Hawks players open on Thursday, each in the Western Conference.

Nashville Predators vs. Colorado Avalanche

Smith’s Preds are trying to get back to the Stanley Cup Final after falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins last years.  They couldn’t have done much better and no one in the Western Conference did during the regular season.  Meanwhile, the Avalanche squeezed themselves into the last playoff spot overall.

During the regular season, Smith was consistently solid against the Avs.  He had a point in each of the three head-to-head games in which he appeared.  Summed up, he had a goal, four assists, and was +4.

San Jose Sharks vs. Anaheim Ducks

With 111 playoff appearances, no former Hawk has played more postseason hockey at the NHL level than Pavelski.  He has nearly identical totals of 42 goals and 41 assists.  Just two years removed from a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2016, Pavelski is trying to bring the Sharks back for another long run.

Brandon Montour and the Ducks went deep into the postseason last spring, falling to Nashville in the Western Conference Final.  Like last season, Anaheim will start with home ice during the first round; this year they finished second in the Pacific Division after winning it last year.  The Ducks added J.T. Brown midway through the year; Brown reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2015 with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Visit Karen’s Print Rite at 2515 Falls Avenue in Waterloo or online at karensprintrite.com.