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Brandon Saad’s winding career path leads to his 200th goal

On Saturday night against the Maple Leafs, the forward scored the 200th goal of his NHL career.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

In the St. Louis Blues 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, Brandon Saad reached a career milestone when he scored his 200th NHL goal to break the 3-3 tie early in the third period.

The 29-year-old native of Pittsburgh, PA, was drafted in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks out of the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League.

On October 4, 2011, Saad agreed to a three year, entry-level contract, and after his signing, it was announced that Saad would start the 2011-12 season with the Blackhawks, making him the lowest draft pick to begin the season with the Blackhawks in their draft year since defenseman Lasse Kukkonen (drafted 151st overall) in the 2003–04 season.

Saad made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks on October 7, 2011, but was quickly reassigned to the Spirit five days later.

Upon being returned to the Spirit, Saad was named as the Canadian Hockey League’s player of the week from October 17-23, and after the Spirit traded captain Ryan O’Connor to the Barrie Colts, Saad was named as his replacement for the remainder of the 2011-12 season.

At the conclusion of the OHL season, the Blackhawks recalled Saad on April 16, 2012, and he made his playoffs debut three days later.

Saad scored his first NHL goal on February 5, 2013, against the San Jose Sharks, and following the season, which included him winning the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks, he was named as a finalist for the 2013 Calder Memorial Trophy, given to the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

During the 2014-15 season, Saad tallied a career-high 52 points (23g, 29a) and won his second consecutive Stanley Cup championship with the Blackhawks.

However, on June 30, 2015, the Blackhawks would trade Saad, along with Alex Broadhurst and Michael Paliotta, to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Jeremy Morin, Marko Daňo, Artem Anisimov, Corey Tropp, and a fourth-round draft pick in 2016.

After his acquisition, Saad signed a six-year contract extension with the Blue Jackets worth $36 million on July 3, 2015.

In the 2015-16 season, Saad was chosen to play in his first NHL All-Star Game and scored his first career hat trick on April 2, 2016, against the Carolina Hurricanes.

On June 23, 2017, Saad would return to the team that drafted him when he was reacquired by the Blackhawks along with Anton Forsberg and a fifth-round draft pick in 2018, with Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte, and a sixth-round draft pick in 2017 heading the other way.

Saad spent two seasons with the Blackhawks the second time around before being traded away again, this time to the Colorado Avalanche, along with Dennis Gilbert in exchange for Nikita Zadorov and Anton Lindholm. As a part of the trade, the Blackhawks agreed to retain $1 million of Saad’s $6 million salary for the remaining year of his contract.

Then on July 29, 2021, Saad would sign a five-year, $22.5 million contract with the Blues.

So far, in his first season with the Blues, Saad has had 16 goals and 11 assists for a total of 27 points in 45 games played, including his milestone 200th goal on Saturday night.