LW | 6' 1" | 206 lb | Age: 27 | Colombus Blue Jackets
The son of a Syrian immigrant and grandson of a former NFL official who worked two Super Bowls, Saad does not come from a hockey background. He knew at a young age, though, that he would grow up to be an NHL star and he didn't hesitate to share that thought.
After being scolded by a teacher for not studying hard enough in school one day, the young boy who collected hockey pucks and kept his collection safe under his bed told his teacher flat out that he didn't need to study because he was going to play in the NHL.
Saad's vision came true on Oct. 7, 2011, when he made his NHL debut for the Chicago Blackhawks, who selected him in the second round (No. 43) of the 2011 NHL Draft. The native of Pittsburgh went on to establish himself as a consistent scorer with at least 23 goals in four of his first six full NHL seasons.
A strong skater with good instincts, Saad originally wanted to be a goalie but his mother talked him out of the idea, telling him he was too good and too fast a skater. The advice proved sound when Saad was accepted into the USA Hockey National Team Development program in 2008.
Saad transferred two years later to the Canadian Hockey League and played two years of major junior hockey with Saginaw of the Ontario Hockey League, where he produced 131 points (61 goals) in 103 games. He also represented the United States in the 2012 World Junior Championship, scoring one goal and five assists.
A Calder Trophy finalist in 2013, Saad finished his first season in the NHL tied for fifth in points among NHL rookies (27) and tied for third in assists (17) in 2012-13 and went on to share the lead among rookies in points with six (one goal) in 23 playoff games while helping Chicago win the Stanley Cup.
Saad also helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2015, finishing with 11 points (eight goals) in 23 games. He later played in the NHL All-Star Game in 2016 as a member of the Blue Jackets, who obtained his negotiating rights in a trade with Chicago on June 30, 2015, and signed him to a six-year contract on July 3, 2015. He tied for the Columbus lead with 53 points (31 goals, 22 assists) in 2015-16.
Saad was traded back to Chicago on June 23, 2017.
NOTES & TRANSACTIONS
OHL First All-Star Team (2012)
NHL All-Rookie Team (2013)
Played in NHL All-Star Game (2016)
Traded to Columbus by Chicago with Michael Paliotta and Alex Broadhurst for Artem Anisimov, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp, Marko Dano and Columbus' 4th round pick (later traded to NY Islanders -- NY Islanders selected Anatoli Golyshev) in 2016 NHL Draft, June 30, 2015.
Traded to Chicago by Columbus with Anton Forsberg and Columbus' 5th round pick in 2018 NHL Draft for Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte and NY Islanders' 6th round pick (previously acquired, Columbus selected Jonathan Davidsson) in 2017 NHL Draft, June 23, 2017.