Brandon Saad is back where he belongs.
The 24-year-old was traded back to Chicago this offseason for Artemi Panarin of the Columbus Blue Jackets and he's already made an immediate impact.
Saad scored a hat trick in his return to the United Center during the preseason and dazzled with a shootout goal at practice.
Some of his teammates talked to CSN Chicago about his return to the team and offered some very high praise. Captain Jonathan Toews was among those with kind words.
“His rookie year I kept saying you could see that intangible quality in him, that he wanted to get better every single night,” Toews said. “You see players with raw, physical talent and ability but don’t take it upon themselves to be one of the guys every single night. Saader was showing that right away and you could tell he was just going to get better and better.”
“He’s stepping in here knowing he’ll be one of those guys heavily keyed upon for us,” Toews said. “And he’s ready for that and excited for it.”
Superstar forward Patrick Kane chimed in with some praise for the former Blue Jacket.
"You think he may be 27, 28 years old. He’s only 24 years old. He’s still a young kid,” Kane said. “Guys like [Ryan] Hartman and [Vinnie] Hinostroza are only 23 so he’s not much older than them, even though he might seem it. He’s got a great future.”
Saad spent the first four seasons of his NHL career with the Blackhawks, where he won two Stanley Cups. His return to Chicago already appears to be off to a great start.