Brandon Saad (born October 27, 1992 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American professional ice hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks.
He was drafted by the Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in the 2nd round (43rd overall) and won the Stanley Cup with the team in 2013 & 2015.
Before the 2015-16 season, Brandon was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets where he played for the team for two seasons until the Blackhawks reacquired him in another trade before the 2017-18 season.
Amateur Playing CareerEdit
In the 2008-09 season, Brandon played for the Mahoning Valley Phantoms to start his amateur ice hockey career. In the 2009–10 season, he played within the USA Hockey National Team Development Program in the United States Hockey League (USHL), finishing the season with the most goals (12) and points (26) on the team.
He would then transfer to the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) for the 2010–11 season to play at the major junior level with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
At the end of the season, Brandon was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round (43rd overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
On October 4, 2011, Chicago signed Brandon to a three-year, entry-level contract. It was announced that he would start the season with the Blackhawks, making him the lowest-selected Chicago draft pick, at 43rd overall, to start with the Blackhawks in their draft year since defenceman Lasse Kukkonen (drafted 151st overall) in the 2003–04 season.
On October 7, 2011, he made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks against the Dallas Stars, though he was quickly reassigned to Saginaw four days later, on October 12, 2011.
After Brandon's return to the Spirit, he was named CHL Player of the Week for October 17 to October 23. Following the trade of Saginaw team captain Ryan O'Connor to the Barrie Colts, Brandon was named his replacement as captain for the remainder of the 2011–12 season, finishing the year with an OHL-best 1.73 points-per-game average.
Following the conclusion of the OHL season, Brandon was recalled to the Blackhawks on April 16, 2012, making his Stanley Cup playoff debut on April 19, 2012. He scored his first NHL point two nights later on April 21 with an assist on a goal by defenceman Nick Leddy against the Phoenix Coyotes, an eventual 2–1 win for Chicago.
On September 15, 2012, Chicago assigned Brandon to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League (AHL) in anticipation of the 2012–13 NHL lockout. He was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period of January 7–13, 2013, after scoring six points in just three games, including two game-winning goals.
On January 17, 2013, after the lockout was resolved, the Blackhawks included Brandon on the team's starting roster for the shortened, 48-game 2012–13 season. He scored his first career NHL goal on February 5, 2013 against Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks.
On February 22, 2013, Brandon scored a game-winning, short-handed goal against the Sharks to secure an NHL-record 17th straight game with at least one point to start a season for the 2012–13 Blackhawks, breaking the previous record of 16-straight games held by the 2006–07 Anaheim Ducks.
On May 6, 2013, he was named as a finalist for the 2013 Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie of the year, an award which ultimately went to the Florida Panthers' Jonathan Huberdeau.
On June 24, 2013, Brandon and the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup after defeating the Eastern Conference-winning Boston Bruins in six games in the Finals.
During the 2014–15 season, he tallied a career-high 23 goals and 29 assists for 52 points. He added eight more goals in the 2015 playoffs, including two game-winners and one short-handed goal, while also recording three assists.
On June 15, 2015, Brandon won his second Stanley Cup championship with Chicago as the Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games in the Finals.
On June 30, 2015, Chicago traded Brandon's negotiation rights as a pending restricted free agent, along with prospects Alex Broadhurst and Michael Paliotta to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Jeremy Morin, Marko Dano, Artem Anisimov, Corey Tropp and a fourth-round draft pick in 2016.
On July 3, 2015, Brandon signed a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets worth $36 million. During the 2015–16 season, he was selected to his first NHL All-Star game. On April 2, 2016, he scored his first NHL hat trick in a 5-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes.
On June 23, 2017, Brandon returned to the Chicago Blackhawks (along with Anton Forsberg and a fifth-round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft) by the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte and a 6th-round draft pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Brandon began the 2017-18 season with a hat trick against the Pittsburgh Penguins en route to a 10–1 victory. He ended the season with 18 goals and 17 assists in 82 games with the Blackhawks.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|2008–09||Mahoning Valley Phantoms||NAHL||47||29||18||47||48||—||—||—||—||—|
|2009–10||U.S. National Development Team (U18)||USHL||24||12||14||26||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|2015–16||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||78||31||22||53||14||—||—||—||—||—|
|2016–17||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||82||24||29||53||8||5||1||2||3||0|
|2010||United States||WJC18||1st (Gold)||7||3||3||6||4|
|2016||Team North America||WCH||5th||3||0||0||0||2|
Brandon is of Syrian descent.
He is the son of a Christian-Syrian father, George Sr. and an American mother, Sandy. His father migrated to America at the age of 18 and also aims to bring his relatives still living in Syria over to America, to avoid the threats of the Syrian Civil War.
Brandon's older brother George played hockey played college ice hockey at Penn State University and was drafted by the Youngstown Phantoms in the USHL Entry Draft.
He attended Pine-Richland High School.