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Blackhawks Mon Feb 27 2012

Young Guns Give Hawks a Boost

The Hawks have gone through a fair amount of ups and downs in the past week, from snapping the Red Wings' winning streak to breaking down defensively in a 4-0 loss to the Kings. And while some of the big names like Jonathan Toews and Niklas Hjalmarsson have been injured, two new names are emerging.

Jimmy Hayes, a 22-year-old Boston native, is putting away some solid goals. Dylan Olsen, 21, has competed in a dozen NHL games but is seeing significant ice time. The two may just be carving out a place for themselves on the team.

hayes.jpgHayes (right) has bounced back and forth between the Blackhawks and the IceHogs, spending most of January with the Hawks before being assigned back to Rockford on January 28. He was recalled on February 17, a move that may have proved vital to the Red Wings game.

Hayes brings an impressive score sheet for a player with fewer than 20 NHL games under his belt. He's registered five goals and four assists this season and maintains a shooting percentage second on the team only to Dave Bolland.

Olsen.jpgOlsen (right) was recalled from Rockford just days before Hayes while Steve Montador was put on injured reserve. He's been paired with Duncan Keith, which comes with significant playing time.

A first-round draft pick, Olsen made his NHL debut in January of last year and in his first two games registered four shots on goal, five hits and one blocked shot. This year the defenseman is responsible for one assist against the Blue Jackets. Olsen bring size and speed to the roster and while Montador is still listed at "no progress," Olsen has a chance to establish himself as a reliable defender with Keith.

While these rookies have shown skill under pressure, the trade deadline is on everyone's mind. Will these two be kept for long-term value, or will their recent success make them that much more valuable to trade?

 
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