Former Phantom Saad expected to play tonight for Blackhawks

Former Phantom Saad expected to play tonight for Blackhawks

Combined dispatches

Chicago rookie Brandon Saad, who played with the Mahoning Valley Phantoms in 2008-09, will likely end his season wearing a Blackhawks sweater.

With Marian Hossa out of commission following a collision with Phoenix’s Raffi Torres in Game 3 of their playoff series on Tuesday, the Blackhawks called the 19-year-old winger to Chicago where he practiced on the United Center ice on Wednesday.

Saad is expected to be in the lineup for tonight’s Game 4 that will be televised on CNBC.

“Offensively, he gives us some nice assets and a nice opportunity to have some skill, and he can complement some guys with skill as well,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville told “The puck seems to follow him around; he protects it pretty well.”

Saad, of Gibsonia, Pa., was on the Blackhawks roster for the first two games of the season, then returned to the Ontario Hockey League’s Saginaw Spirit. Saad recorded 76 points in 44 games. His 1.73 points-per-game average was the highest in the league. He also scored 17 points in the OHL playoffs.

“It was a great year,” Saad told the NHL website. “I went back to Saginaw, and we weren’t the best team on paper, but we played really well. Being here [for two games] helped tremendously with my OHL season. I went back and led the way there, and I’m glad to be back now.”

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