Thomas Jurco wasn’t given a great opportunity with the Detroit Red Wings. They scratched him in 16 of his last 21 games in their uniform and had no points in 16 games with the team. He simply wasn’t fitting into their situation and wanted out.
CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 26: Tomas Jurco #13 of the Chicago Blackhawks participates in warm-ups before a game against the St Louis Blues at the United Center on February 26, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Luckily, the Chicago Blackhawks, who have been red-hot, picked up the 24 year old winger this weekend knowing he has potential. In 159 game with the Wings, Jurco has 15 goals and 24 assists, showing some-worth but in tiny portions.
With such a low-risk move, its a win-win situation for the Blackhawks, as well as Jurco. With such a prominent team, Jurco’s ability to score, produce, and grow have increased dramatically. I was able to keep a special eye on Jurco’s debut in the Hawks 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues Sunday night, so let’s break down the two major keys in his game.
Not Much Ice-Time, But Enough To Speculate:
Jurco had a team low 3:53 of ice-time in the first period with no shot attempts. It seemed liked he was just settling in and coach Quenneville was observing as well. Although, it seems like coach Q actually enjoyed what Jurco was doing out on the ice, as he gave him 9:31 more ice-time in the game for a total of 12:44, which is only 2:03 less than Richard Panik.
He eventually got in the mix of things and was able to start playing with integrity, achieving two shots on goal, one of them being a quality scoring chance on Jake Allen. He wasn’t a pain to watch, but more of a player who can definitely prove his worth in no time.
Jurco seemingly had no problem jumping into the Hawks system and stepping up to the plate. He was aggressive entering the offensive zone and kept a keen eye for the puck as well. Marian Hossa fed Jurco a few passes, one of them eventually landing a shot on net that you’d see from a regular on the Hawks.
It seems like Jurco is happy to be in a city where he can grow with a roster that’s competing all down the line-up. Better yet, he’s a much better choice than Andrew Desjardins or Jordin Tootoo, who haven’t produced anything all year.
Jurco could be that one player that the Hawks transform into a regular with little-to-no cost ahead of them, as his contract is only $900,000.
We’ve seen it before and we might just be seeing it again.