Following an off-season hip surgery, Phillip Danault was recalled by the Chicago Blackhawks last weekend and earned his first NHL point (an assist on an Andrew Shaw goal) against the San Jose Sharks on December 20th.
Chosen 26th overall by the Hawks at the 2011 draft, Danault is projected to become a two-way playmaking centre who will play on the second (at best, on a mid-level team) or third line - in the mold of captain Jonathan Toews, with less offensive upside. He's seen as Marcus Kruger's eventual replacement, and it was Kruger's injury that prompted the Hawks to choose him as their call-up despite having only played in 6 AHL games this season.
The Toews comparison is particularly striking because Danault captained his hometown Victoriaville Tigres in the LHJMQ for three seasons before getting traded to the Moncton Wildcats, who were attempting a Memorial Cup run in 2012-13 (the Halifax Mooseheads instead got out of the ''Q'' and ultimately won the championship).
He had a very god season with the Rockford IceHogs last year, finishing fourth in points with 38 and leading the team in goals in the post-season (with 3); he was also a +20 during the season an a team-leading +8 in the playoffs. He didn't win the Guy Carbonneau Award in the LHJMQ without reason...
Here he is wearing the Tigres' white (home) uniform, with the captain's ''C'' visible on his jersey: