Second City Hockey’s 2022-23 preseason Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the organization’s top 25 players under the age of 25 by Oct. 1, 2022. The rankings are determined by a composite score from all four SCH writers. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. All four ballots will be released after the series is completed.
The numbers don’t tell the entire story for Landon Slaggert.
As a freshman at Notre Dame in the 2020-21 season, Slaggert was just shy of a point-per-game pace with 22 points (8 G, 14 A) in 25 games. Last season, as a sophomore, Slaggert’s production fell down to 26 in 40 (0.65 PPG). He was still in fifth place on the Irish with those 26 points, though, with fellow Blackhawks prospect Ryder Rolston just ahead of him (27 points) and Slaggert’s younger brother, Graham, right behind him at 25 (Sidenote: their father, Andy Slaggert, is an associate head coach at Notre Dame, too).
But Landon Slaggert’s role at Notre Dame wasn’t entirely about offense: he was relied on as more of a two-way forward and he took considerable steps forward in that direction. And those steps could be things that pay off for Slaggert as he progresses towards the NHL level, as LBR mentioned at SCH headquarters earlier this week:
Yes, his points were down this year but he took strides defensively — which he was already very good at. He did all the little things that don’t show up well on scorecards (pick retrieval, screens, transition). - L_B_R on Slaggert
USA Hockey certainly thought highly of Slaggert, giving him an “A” to wear during the pandemic-delayed World Juniors. Although USA’s run was surprisingly ended early by Czechia, Slaggert was a noticeable contributor with two goals and four assists in five games while averaging 13:03 of ice time.
This photo serves as a decent summation of Slaggert’s time at the World Juniors:
Slaggert, parked right in front of the net, fighting for a shot on goal with a pair of defenders all over him. It’s how Slaggert existed for much of the tournament: battling for scraps in front of the opposing goaltender.
Here’s one of the goals Slaggert scored, with the assist credited to another Blackhawks prospect:
Slaggert will be back at Notre Dame for his junior season in 2022-23 and another few steps forward could have him landing a professional contract by the end of that hockey season. It’ll be interesting to see how Notre Dame uses him next season. Slaggert has shown an ability to flourish in both an offensive-minded, top-line role or in a more well-rounded position that focuses on both ends of the ice. Having more than one arrow in the ol’ quiver is never a bad thing, and further development of Slaggert’s overall skill set will continue the upward trajectory he’s enjoyed for the last few seasons.