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The Cannon Top 25 Under 25: #5 Alexander Wennberg

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This is an important year for Wennberg, can he take the next step?

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the final year of his entry-level contract, Alexander Wennberg is looking to lock down his spot as a dependable center on a scoring line. Last season he doubled his stats from his rookie year, finishing with 40 points in 69 games.

The only remaining player from the trio of CBJ first rounders in 2013, Wennberg needs to shoot the puck more - a lot more. He finished tenth on the team with 97 shots this past season, just ahead of Ryan Murray and just behind William Karlsson. For comparison, Brandon Saad led the team with 233 shots. If he can add goal-scoring to his already impressive playmaking and defensive ability, he’ll cement himself as a scoring-line center for the Jackets.

Statistics

Outlook for 2016 / 2017

At this point one could pencil him in as the number two center, behind Brandon Dubinsky and ahead of Sam Gagner and William Karlsson. It’s a contract year for Wennberg, so he’ll be looking to put up gaudy enough numbers to earn a long-term deal, though Boone Jenner put up 30 goals last season and earned a bridge deal. We can probably expect the same for Wennberg.

There’s a very real possibility that Wennberg could have Brandon Saad and a young sniper like Oliver Bjorkstrand on his wings. If this trio is ever put together, you’d have one hell of an entertaining and productive line right there.