Five things to know about Drew LeBlanc
|(Photo courtesy St. Cloud State)|
1. Majored in math education (and minored in coaching), following in the footsteps of his father, who is also a math teacher. Part of the reason LeBlanc returned to St. Cloud State for a red-shirt fifth college season was so that he could finish his degree. He fulfilled his student-teaching requirement by taking charge of three algebra classes at nearby St. Cloud Apollo High School.
1b. LeBlanc's professional commitments kept him from growing out his hair to an untamed length as part of the Huskies' year-long Locks of Love campaign this past season.
2. The compound leg fracture that ended LeBlanc's 2011-12 season kept him off the ice, but it didn't keep him away from the team. He rolled himself to practice in a wheelchair after surgery, and later pulled an exercise bike next to the rink so that he could ride along while his teammates practiced.
3. Became the first St. Cloud State player to ever win the Hobey Baker Award after captaining the Huskies to the program's first-ever Frozen Four appearance. LeBlanc led the entire nation with 37 assists last season, and he was named WCHA Player of the Year. LeBlanc's excellence also extended to his academics, as he was named a WCHA Scholar-Athlete in four consecutive years, just the fifth player in school history to do so and the first to hold both college association honors at the same time.
4. LeBlanc was known for donning the No. 19 jersey for St. Cloud State (in honor of his hockey idol, Steve Yzerman); the number is obviously not available to him here in Chicago, and neither is the No. 29 jersey he wore during his freshman and sophomore campaigns. So he will wear No. 14, which has been inhabited by former Blackhawks Doug Bentley, Bill Gardner, Greg Gilbert and Ab McDonald.
5. The Hermantown, Minn., native is no stranger to Chicago. LeBlanc played for the USHL's Chicago Steel from 2006-08, recording 19 goals and 40 assists in 72 games before heading off to college.