With the season now over after a return to the playoffs and the Western Conference Finals, we're looking back at each player who wore the Indian Head sweater for the 08-09 Season and grading their performance. We begin now with the forwards, and everyone's favorite set of stone hands, Troy Brouwer.
#22 / Right Wing / Chicago Blackhawks
Aug 17, 1985
Contract Status - RFA, '08-'09 Cap Hit - $700K
|2008 - Troy Brouwer||69||10||16||26||7||50||4||1||0||0||126||7.9|
The Good - After being called up on October 21st, Troy Brouwer managed to finally stick with the big club for the majority of the year after a couple of cups of coffee the previous two seasons while lighting it up for the Norfolk and Rockford AHL sqauads. Brouwer has a prototypical power forward's frame, and was not afraid to use it either finishing his checks, planting himself in front of the net, or occasionally dropping the mitts. His slightly above average speed for his size made him extremely versatile when in the lineup; the ability to win the puck along the boards for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the first line, add physicality and energy on the fourth line, kill penalties, and occasionally do his best Ryan Smyth impersonation on the power play. Additionally, his superb positional play afforded him numerous golden opportunities when on the ice with Toews....more on that in a moment. All in all, no matter the task, Brouwer exhibited the size, speed, and hockey sense to do the job admirably.
The Bad - Based on the numbers he put up in The A (seasons of 41 and 35 goals), a much finer finishing touch was expected of Brouwer at the NHL level. Despite more chances than we have time to get into mentioning specifics for, Brouwer only had 10 goals this year- a far cry from the numbers he put up with the farm club. And those chances he missed quite often were reason enough for "Round two" in the smoking pen outside gate 7 at the UC. Additionally, Brouwer is certainly not the most graceful specimen on two skates. It would serve Troy well to refine his skating stride, and perhaps, that will put him in position a fraction of a second sooner, allowing him to bury the aforementioned chances.
Playoff Beard Strength - At only 23, Brouwer was certainly one of the most rugged of the young bucks, and again western Canada represents with a top notch playoff beard.
Nicknames - Ohmygodohmygodohmygodshiiiiiiiiiiit........
Related Photoshops - Such is the life of the role player- very few times are you cast into the limelight that is being the victim of a photoshop.
The Grade - I'm going to reveal my bias here, and state that I have a very big soft spot for big tall oafs who play positionally sound, but have hands of stone and manage to screw the pooch on nearly every scoring chance they get. But the reason Brouwer got those chances in the first place is because he was where he was supposed to be. And as young as he is, there is still a sufficient amount of time for him to refine his scoring touch in the NHL. But other than that issue, I have little to no complaint with Troy Brouwer's game as a whole, and am willing to give him a high B for this year. What say you?