Many Blackhawks fans had a hard time to reconcile with the fact that Andrew Shaw does not play in Chicago.
Well, do not look now, but a younger version turned heads this preseason and may just infuse the team with the same grit, grime, fight and pointing ability at a much, much cheaper.
This player is none other than Tyler Motte, 5 feet 9, 192 pounds firecracker who scored 2 goals against the Blues on Saturday night in a 4-0 pre-season victory at the United Center.
“It is special. He did a lot of good things,” said Joel Quenneville coach.
Motte scored his first goal in typical fashion Shaw, being in goal at the perfect time and slap a loose puck in the air past goalie Carter Hutton 28 seconds of the second period.
Motte then won a battle front with seven veteran defender Kevin Shattenkirk and flashed the speed and skill that has been exposed the last two games when he ran down the ice and buried past wrister Hutton with 39 seconds to do in the game.
“It looks like it does not bother him to play a type of grinding the game, but he has the ability to finish too,” said Patrick Kane. “Great game for him tonight.”
Motte strong play earned him a promotion in the play of the third line to the second, as he replaced Nick Schmaltz and skated with Kane and Artem Anisimov.
Motte, who proved he can score last season when he finished second in the NCAA with 32 goals in his third season with Michigan, is also an accomplished penalty killer. It is connected 4:10 of ice time on the PK so far, with 2:11 on Saturday.
“I like killing penalties,” said Motte, who was taken in the fourth round of the repechage of the 2013 NHL “Krug (Marcus Kruger) made it easy on me tonight, talk a lot there. … It’s good to chip in this way. I’m sure I can help the team move forward. ”
Teammates and coaches have also noticed how hard it is for opponents to separate Motte puck and also how it is responsible on both ends of the ice.
Last week we asked if Motte believed his game is ready for the NHL, to which he replied. “Yes, I think so That was the big reason to make the school step here is to relish the opportunity to challenge myself and make that jump.
“And I think my game is responsible enough to play, and the offensive ability and things will come with it.”