Hawks player reviews: Duncan Keith

Duncan Keith led all defensemen with 55 assists and is a favorite to win the Norris Trophy. Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports

Duncan Keith, Defenseman

2013-14 cap hit: $5,538,462 | Age: 30 | Season stats: 6 goals, 55 assists, plus-22

Season recap: Keith was one of the league's best defensemen this season and is the favorite to win the Norris Trophy. He was second among all defensemen with 61 points and was first with 55 assists. He also led the Blackhawks in ice time and played a key role on the team's power play and penalty kill.

Season highlight: Keith had a career-best eight-game points streak from Nov. 19 to Dec. 3. He had 10 assists during that span.

Season lowlight: Keith was on the ice for four even-strength goals in a 7-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 14.

Final grade: A.

Inside the numbers: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville utilized Keith's offensive game by starting him more in the offensive zone than in recent seasons. Keith made 57.3 percent of his starts in the offensive zone, according to extraskater.com.

Notes: Keith reached 40 assists in the first 46 games this season.

Quotes: "He just does everything well," Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said about Keith. "He skates well. He's in great shape. He can play a lot of minutes. It's regular to see him play a full two minutes of a power play and then play the next shift and not look like he's even lost wind at all. Just everything about his game. He's smart defensively. He's strong, I don't know if there's one area that you could say that he really can be exposed on. I just think he's solid all the way through. Offensively, especially what he's able to create, is pretty amazing."

What's next: The Blackhawks are banking Keith, who will be 31 in July, continuing this level for a long time. He has nine years left on his contract and has shown no sign of deteriorating yet.