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2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Outlook: Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks are in full rebuild mode, but can you find some value in their lineup to make your fantasy team better?
Patrick Kane

The fantasy season is upon us. Another year of tears of joy and heartbreak.

To help you along, here’s your fantasy outlook for the Chicago Blackhawks.

2022-23 Fantasy Outlook: Chicago Blackhawks

Last season: 28-42-12, 7th Central, 27th overall. GF: 29th, GA: 26th, PP: 21st, PK: 24th.

The Blackhawks didn’t finish last in any major category, but no franchise feels more moribund. They had entered the 2021-22 season with some optimism since they had flirted with .500 over the past four seasons, having qualified for the bubble playoffs. A new core was emerging with Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach, and captain Jonathan Toews was returning after sitting out an entire season.

But new details regarding a lawsuit alleging sexual assault filed against the team in May 2021, including Kyle Beach identifying himself as “John Doe 1” in October, cast an enormous black cloud over the franchise. The ensuing fallout forced GM Stan Bowman and senior VP Al MacIsaac to resign, and on the ice, coach Jeremy Colliton was fired after starting 1-9-2. With a .415 P%, it was the Blackhawks’ second-worst record in the cap era, and over the summer signaled a long-term rebuild after trading DeBrincat and Dach, and opting not to re-sign top-six forwards Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome.

Best fantasy option: Patrick Kane, RW

THN’s Pool Guide is projecting Kane to score 90 points once again, and nobody else on the team will likely come close. The roster is bereft of any elite offensive talent other than Kane, and the holes have been plugged by players looking to rejuvenate their careers, including Tyler Johnson, Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou, the latter two signed to identical, one-year, show-me contracts who will inevitably become trade bait. Kane is still an elite fantasy option whether or not he moves to a different team.

Hidden gem: Lukas Reichel, C/LW

It’s a huge reach and Reichel shouldn’t even be considered in keeper leagues, but there’s really no one else who offers untapped offensive upside or any sort of intrigue. Reichel is currently their best prospect who has a chance to win a roster spot (2022 top picks Kevin Korchinski and Frank Nazar are expected to return to their junior clubs), the 17th overall pick in 2020 who led AHL Rockford in scoring with 57 points in 56 games as a 19-year-old and received an 11-game audition last season. If Reichel can earn top-line minutes on Kane’s opposite wing, he might be a player worth keeping an eye on.

Goalies

With the injury-prone Petr Mrazek as their starter and 35-year-old journeyman Alex Stalock slated to be the backup, the Blackhawks might have a chance at setting the record for most goals allowed in a season. Their team defense is expected to be horrendous without any strong two-way forwards and their defense will be carried mostly by Seth Jones and Jake McCabe, who were a combined minus-64 last season. The record for most goals allowed in the cap era is 317, set by the Habs last season, which included a league-high 32 losses by three goals or more.

Outlook

Is there anything to get excited about? This is but Stage 1 of Kyle Davidson’s master rebuild, which has drawn lukewarm reviews so far, and it’s going to be really rough for quite a while. Even under Bill Wirtz's worst years, the air didn’t feel this negative. Other than the dependable Patrick Kane, it’s best to ignore the Blackhawks for the upcoming season. 

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