Question 1: If the Blackhawks are going to keep any of their expiring veteran defensemen, they should keep Brian Campbell. He has completely bought in to the Chicago Blackhawks culture and has said many times he only wants to play here.
As we saw last year, he’s willing to take pay cuts to do so, and after a disappointing season this year Campbell should be even cheaper to bring back this year. Campbell’s an effective defenseman, and I think if be comes back he’ll bring more offense again.
Question 2: It’s hard not to choose the obvious one here, but I’m going with Alex DeBrincat. DeBrincat has been absolutely insane with the Erie Otters this year, and his performance has earned him the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player award for this season.
There are some questions that pop up about his size, but those same questions have popped up about Patrick Kane as well, and the league is seemingly getting more and more little-winger-friendly in this decade.
Question 1: I’d like to see the ’Hawks re-sign Brian Campbell. Sean Tierney of The Athletic recently did some research about the Chicago Blackhawks. He charted goals above replacement data, or GAR, for all players. Campbell is listed on the top of this list as an impact player with regard to even-strength offense and defense, powerplay offense, and avoiding and drawing penalties.
To quote Tierney, “Bowman would be wise to consider bringing the veteran puck-mover back, particularly if Campbell is willing to re-up for a short-term, small-money deal. He continues to provide calm, competent play and defensive depth for a team stuck near the salary cap.”
Question 2: This is a no-brainer. Alex DeBrincat. He was recently granted the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year award, as he seems to have a knack for scoring goals. He just completed his third straight year in the OHL where he scored more than 100 points. This season was his best yet. He secured 65 goals and 62 assists, for a whopping 127 points!
It’s been well documented that DeBrincat can make things happen no matter who is on the ice with him. He knows how to adjust to his teammates, and find the open space. He’s also scoring goals in the same areas where goals are scored in the NHL. I’m excited to see if DeBrincat can successfully transfer his skills to the NHL level.