2018-19 Record (36-34-12) 84 pts
The Chicago Blackhawks had a rough start to the season. Joel Quenneville coached the Blackhawks to a .500 record. Stan Bowman decided to fire Coach Q and hire Jeremy Colliton. Colliton finally broke through and the team saw some moderate success. The Hawks ended the season six points out of a playoff spot.
The Blackhawks season MVP is number 88. His name is Patrick Kane. He had an all-star year this year. Kane had 44 goals and 66 assists for 110 points. This is his highest point total. In 2015, Kane accumulated 106 points. So he is getting better with age.
Most Improved Player
The Blackhawks have two players that I think fall under the most improved player. Dylan Strome is my first choice. Strome had a break out year for the Hawks. In 2018 he was traded to the Blackhawks. He only scored six points in 20 games with Coyotes. In 58 games with the Blackhawks, Strome scored 17 goals and accumulated 55 points.
Erik Gustafsson is another player that had a breakout season. This year he scored 17 goals and had a total of 60 points. The previous two years Gustafsson only had less than 20 points.
The biggest disappointed is Brent Seabrook. All of the miles he has put on his skates and legs have caught up to him. Seabrook has become more and more of a defensive liability. He seems to be skating with concrete blocks tied to his feet.
Highlight of the Year
Current Depth Chart
Top Three Prospects
Adam Boqvist is a young prospect that the Blackhawks drafted in the 2019 draft. Boqvist skating abilities is absolutely outstanding along with his offensive game. Defensively he is very strong in his own end of the ice.
Dylan Sikura is another top prospect in the Blackhawks system. He has seen some time with the Blackhawks. He played 33 games with the Hawks and tallied just eight points. However, Sikura was more successful with the Rockford Ice Hogs tallying 35 points in 45 games.
Nikolas Beaudin is another prospect that has been an impressive blueliner. Beaudin was drafted in the first round of last year’s draft. Currently, Beaudin plays in the QMJHL for the Drummondville Voltigeurs. In 33 games he put up 56 points. So as you can see he is a true dynamic defenseman.
Players Primed for a Breakout Season
Alexsi Saarela is primed to have a breakout season. Saarela was part of the side deal to the Calvin de Haan trade. He spent most of his time with the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes. With the Checkers, Saarela scored 30 goals and tallied 54 points in 69 games. He is ready to produce at the NHL level and could be a dynamic piece for the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks have added several pieces to their roster. They have added DeHaan, Andrew Shaw, Olli Maatta, Zack Smith, Ryan Carpenter, and Alexander Nylander. The key departures are Henri Jokiharju, Artem Anisimov, John Hayden, Dominik Kahun, Anton Forsberg and Gustav Forsling. The Blackhawks had a lot of personal changes this offseason.
The Blackhawks do not really have any trade bait. In my opinion, they have traded all of there assets. Bowman has young defenders that need to remain with the Blackhawks and not get traded away. If they trade anymore away it would cripple the franchise.
The Blackhawks need to focus on defense. The Hawks’ team differential was negative 22. Which means the number of goals allowed was greater than the number of goals scored. The negative 22 indicates that the Blackhawks defense was awful. So they need a lockdown defenseman.
I think the Blackhawks are trending upward. The moves that Bowman made will make them a better team. The Blackhawks will probably make the playoffs but they will not be hoisting the Stanley Cup.
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