Adam Clendening, Chicago Blackhawks

Happy Thanksgiving, store Divas!

Aside from a certain Chicago football team (hey, viagra sale at least they won two games in a row), we definitely have a lot to be thankful for. Derrick Rose is healthy again and the Bulls are riding high at 9-5, but more importantly, our Chicago Blackhawks are 12-8-1 (2-1 in their annual circus trip). With rookie Trevor Van Riemsdyk out for three months, a new face stepped up to take center ice: 22-year-old Adam Clendening, our HAM of the Week.

Adam Clendening, http://www.bleacherreport.com

Adam Clendening, http://www.bleacherreport.com

In his first NHL appearance last Thursday’s 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames, Clendening scored his first goal on his first shot against goalie Jonas Hiller.

The 5’11”, 195-lbs defenseman is certainly stirring up buzz, so we’ve got the 411 on the newbie:

Clendening began his career with the U.S. National under-18 team during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, both of which he was a member of Team USA’s gold-medal winning team at the World Junior Championships.

He was selected by the Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL draft–in between playing two consecutive seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12) at Boston University.

Adam Clendening, www.theahl.com

Adam Clendening, www.theahl.com

Following BU, Clendening went to the AHL and played for the Icehogs. In his first season, he was named a second-team AHL All-Star and Rockford’s Rookie of the Year, along with finishing third among all AHL defensemen scoring with 46 points. In his current season, he’s set an AHL record for goals and points by a defenseman with 12 goals and 59 points. He’s also the leading scorer in assists for the Icehogs franchise.

Flashback to 2012, when Clendening talked about his readiness with the organization:

Well, with a goal on your first shot in the big leagues (and an away game), consider us impressed.

The native New Yorker was ranked as the #2 Prospect by NBC Chicago (and Bleacher Report) this past June and is “proficient at quarterbacking the team’s power play from the blue line”. The Blackhawks have the best PK percentage for the 2014-15 season with 90.3%, and adding “Clenny” to the lineup will make that penalty kill play even stronger on the second power-play unit with co-anchor Michal Rozsival.

Though he’s taken, Clendening has the wit and charm like many of his teammates. He loves a good chicken parm and has an affinity for Lululemon clothing, and even knows how we feel about first world problems:

The Blackhawks continue their circus trip tomorrow versus the Avalanche, Friday versus the Ducks and Saturday versus the not-so-deserving 2014 Stanley Cup Champs (yep, we’re still bitter about it). If Clenny & co pull off another stellar performance, they should have no trouble finishing strong. The team returns to the United Center Dec. 3 versus the Blues.

Follow Adam Clendening on Twitter at @Clenny5.

About the author: Hannah Gettleman is a native of the Northern Chicago suburbs. She received her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012 and attended every home Illini football game. Her love of Chicago sports comes from her dad, who has been in the same Fantasy Football league since she was six years old, and her mom, who plays in a 5-0 football pool. She’s also won the family March Madness pool four times in a row. An avid Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks and Cubs fan, she’s excited to share her love of sports and cute guys as the newest HAM Hunter. When she’s not glued to the television on Sundays, Hannah follows the latest in entertainment and red carpet fashion, and makes delicious Betty Crocker brownies. You can follow her at @hgettle12.

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