Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks’ Way-Too-Early 2016-17 Line Projections

By Mike Brennan
Apr 9, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal seconds into the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal seconds into the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 30, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Ryan Hartman (38) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

Third Line: Vincent Hinostroza-Marcus Kruger-Ryan Hartman

Starting on the left is Hinostroza. This kid is from Chicago, and this year could be the year he stays up all season with the ‘Hawks. Last season he played 66 games with the Rockford IceHogs and scored 18 goals with 33 assists. He also played a quiet seven games with the Blackhawks.

If he is given an entire season with the ‘Hawks this year, he could be a great bottom-six forward. He is ready for the big lights of the United Center.

At center is a no-brainer with Kruger. He is literally the definition of a third-line center. Hopefully this year, unlike last season, Kruger does not get injured.

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On the other end is Hartman. Last season he played 61 games with the IceHogs and had 15 goals with 20 assists. This kid is another option to be placed up on the top line later in the season. In my opinion, he is the closest thing that ‘Hawks fans will get to Shaw. He is a smaller guy (5 feet, 11 inches, 191 pounds), and he is just a pesky guy. Check it out.

He will put players in the third row and will try and get into opposing players’ heads. He is a strong skater and has a nice, strong shot. This is one young kid ‘Hawks fans should be excited about.

Fourth Line: Andrew DesjardinsDennis RasmussenJordin Tootoo

Classic fourth line right here. Desjardins and Rasmussen are guys who ‘Hawks fans know what they are getting with. They will come over the boards and try and plaster someone to the boards. They may not be the best guys in terms of production, but that is why they are down on the fourth line.

The new guy in this equation is Tootoo. The 33-year-old was signed for the ‘Hawks in a deal that is kind of confusing to me. This is a player who the ‘Hawks usually stay away from. He is just an old guy who can’t really do anything. Last season he was a plus/minus of minus-26 with the Devils, and only had four goals in 66 games.

Next: Blackhawks' Prospect Camp Roster Announced

That being said, he is just a classic fourth-liner. His biggest asset is his hitting. He had 99 hits last season, and that’s all he is really good for. If he is ever put anywhere higher than the fourth line this season, Q will be making a big mistake.

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