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NHL: Toews to wear the 'C' for Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews didn't win the Calder Trophy for the NHL's rookie of the year, but it's apparent the Chicago Blackhawks hold the former UND standout in high regard.

Jonathan Toews didn't win the Calder Trophy for the NHL's rookie of the year, but it's apparent the Chicago Blackhawks hold the former UND standout in high regard.

On Friday, the Daily Herald of Chicago reported the Blackhawks will make Toews the youngest captain in the NHL next season and the third-youngest in NHL history.

Only Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) and Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay) were NHL team captains at a younger age than Toews, who turned 20 in April.

Crosby was 19 years, 9 months old last season. Lecavalier was 19 years, 11 months in 2000.

"It's a natural fit," Chicago coach Denis Savard told the Daily Herald. "Personally, when I sit down with the staff and my coaches, I know that I've got my mind made up. I don't care how young you are. He's the type of person who is going to be a great captain for us."

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Toews just completed his rookie year for Chicago. Despite missing 19 games with an injury, Toews led the league's rookies in goals with 24 and also had 30 assists.

Perhaps the statistic that best highlights Toews' performance, however, is Chicago's record with him in the lineup. The Blackhawks went 34-24-6 (.531 winning percentage) with Toews and 6-10-2 (.333) without him.

Toews was one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy, which was won by his teammate, Patrick Kane.

The Blackhawks didn't have a captain last season. Toews wore the 'A' for alternate captain in the second half of the season.

The Winnipeg native also wore the 'A' at UND as an 18-year-old sophomore. He's the youngest player at UND to wear a letter.

"There's no question that he's a natural leader," UND?coach Dave Hakstol said. "He's absolutely driven to win and goes about everything in the right way. He's a consummate professional. We saw that here from the start."

Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to bschlossman@gfherald.com .

Youngest captains in NHL history

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Name

Team

Age

Year

Sidney Crosby

Pittsburgh

19 yrs, 9 mths

2007

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Vincent Lecavalier

Tampa Bay 1

9 yrs, 11 mths

2000

Jonathan Toews

Chicago

20 yrs, 3 mths

2008

Steve Yzerman

Detroit

21 yrs, 5 mths

1986

Ryan Walter

Washington

21 yrs, 6 mths

1979

Dale Hawerchuk

Winnipeg

21 yrs, 6 mths

1984

Trevor Linden

Vancouver

21 yrs, 6 mths

1991

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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