A little over three weeks ago on Monday, April 29th, Jonathan Toews turned 31 years old. It’s hard to comprehend that he and Patrick Kane have already played 12 seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks. It seems like just yesterday Toews was scoring goals like this as a rookie.
Toews may not be the stick-handler that fans had hoped for after watching that goal, but he’s accomplished quite a bit during his tenure as captain of the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s a three-time Stanley Cup champion, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and he’s the second-youngest player to win the Conn Smyth Trophy in NHL history. He also won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for demonstrating the most skill in the defensive component of the game in 2012-13.
Somehow, Jonathan Toews still gets dubbed as “overrated” despite all his accomplishments. In 2017 he was named one of the top 100 players in the history of the National Hockey League. Toews has also recorded 110 points (40G, 70A) in 128 career playoff games. All of that success and some Blackhawks fans still aren’t satisfied. Luckily for them, Jonathan Toews isn’t satisfied yet either.
Jonathan Toews in 2018-19
After three consecutive seasons with fewer than 60 points, Toews responded with career-highs across the board last year. He recorded 30 goals for the first time since 2010-11 and reached the 80-point plateau for the first time in his NHL career. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native also had the highest average time on ice of his 12-year career. It was encouraging to see Toews have his best season (arguably) in his first as a 30-year-old. Jonathan Toews’ 2018-19 campaign re-established him as one of the NHL’s premier center icemen.
Be Thankful For Jonathan Toews
Although Jonathan Toews struggled offensively from 2015-18, he was as sturdy defensively as ever. Toews won 58% of his faceoffs in both 2015-16 and 2017-18, and he was no slouch in 2016-17 when he won 54.9% of his draws. He also maintained above average possession numbers despite the lack of the finished product (pucks in the net). Jonathan Toews remained one of the NHL’s best defensive centers, but because of the lack of offense, critics wrote him off. He was still receiving votes for the Selke Trophy in what people were considering “down years”.
The fact of the matter is that Jonathan Toews remained a force, just in different aspects of the game. He continued to play strong defensively while providing unmatched leadership. Toews wasn’t deserving of the criticism he received, and it was frustrating to see fans turn on him so quickly. Remember Toews’ 29 points in 22 playoff games in 2010? What about two goals in Game 7 vs. Anaheim to go to the Stanley Cup? People are quick to forget when things aren’t going well. What Toews brings to the table won’t always show on the stat sheet, but his presence is felt every game. Don’t forget about all that Jonathan Toews has done for the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s already 31 years old, and who knows how many more seasons he has left. After all, the 2006 3rd overall pick has won just about all there is to win in hockey.
Let’s hope Jonathan Toews keeps trending in the right direction as he enters his age 31 season.
For more Blackhawks news and updates, follow the author @JackBushman2 on Twitter. Also, make sure to check out the author’s podcast, Talkin’ Hawkey, which can be found on Apple Podcasts and Anchor.