The Blackhawks finished one point out of the Central Division basement, but there’s a silver lining. The rebuild is ahead of schedule. A trade brought Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini to town, injecting the team with youth. Along with nifty Alex DeBrincat, they’ve created another wave of scorers behind Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. With exciting first-round defensemen Henri Jokiharju, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin in the pipeline, the Hawks could rise as quickly as their empire fell.
IMMEDIATE NEEDS: Chicago finished second-last in goals against and had the worst penalty kill. If the kids aren’t ready, the Hawks could pursue veteran upgrades for the blueline. Cam Ward is a UFA, so the team needs to find a No. 2 goalie. That’s an important job in Chicago with starter Corey Crawford...
About the Author
Matt Larkin is a senior writer at The Hockey News and has been part of the team since 2011. He's your one-stop shop for deep-dive player interviews, predictions, statistics, fantasy player rankings, player safety and hair tips. Catch him weekly as host of The Hockey News Live and The Hockey News Podcast.