Jonathan Toews, forward
2014-15 cap hit: $6.3 million | Age: 27 | Season stats: 28 goals, 38 assists, plus-30
Season recap: What makes Toews one of the league’s premier players is his consistency. The Blackhawks know what they’re going to get from him year in and year out. This past season was no different. He scored 25-plus goals for the fifth time in his career, recorded 30-plus assists for the sixth time, had a Corsi percentage of 55-plus percent for the seventh time and had a 5-on-5 goal differential of plus-20 for the fourth time. He was just as good in the playoffs, getting 10 goals and 11 assists. He was also recently awarded the Mark Messier Leadership Award.
Season highlight: Toews stepped up when the Blackhawks needed him most. He scored twice in the opening period to put the Blackhawks ahead 2-0 against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals. He had five goals in the final four games of the series.
Season lowlight: Toews was on the ice for all four goals in the Blackhawks’ 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 23.
Final grade: A.
Inside the numbers: Toews had a plus-27 goal differential in 5-on-5 play over 104 total games this season. He was on the ice for 69 goals for and 42 goals against. It was the second highest goal differential of his career. He was a plus-39 in the 2012-13 season.
Quotes: Patrick Kane on Toews’ leadership: “He’s definitely a little bit more vocal, especially from when he was named captain back then. You almost get sick of hearing his voice, to be honest with you. He's a great leader. I know there is a lot made about his leadership, but he's another guy that we're fortunate to have in here because he not only leads by what he says, he leads by example too. When you can walk the walk and talk the talk, not many guys can do that. He's one of a kind.”
What’s next: Toews and Kane’s new contracts go into effect next season. They’ll each make $84 million over eight seasons. While it’s a lot of money and it’ll impact the Blackhawks’ cap situation going forward, both players have proven they're worth every cent.