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Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ Offensive Preparation For 2017-18 Season

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Apr 20, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left winger Artemi Panarin (72) hits Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen (92) during the second period in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 20, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left winger Artemi Panarin (72) hits Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen (92) during the second period in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 2, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Nick Schmaltz (8) skates with the puck past Boston Bruins right wing David Backes (42) during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Nick Schmaltz (8) skates with the puck past Boston Bruins right wing David Backes (42) during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

Nick Schmaltz

I’m very excited to see if Schmaltz can elevate his game next season.  He has so much talent and potential!

I think the rookie’s main problem is his confidence.  After being sent down to the Rockford IceHogs mid-season, he came back so much more sure of himself.  He was able to execute his skills, and became integral in helping Jonathan Toews up his game.

But once the playoffs hit, the added pressure didn’t do Schmaltz any favors.  His tentative play caught up with him once again.  If Schmaltz can work on the mental aspect of his game, and gain more confidence, good things will follow.

Marian Hossa

Does Big Hoss really need to work on anything at this stage of his career?  Not really.  Perhaps varying his shooting aim.

In my opinion, he shoots right into the goalie’s chest a little too often.  But for the most part, Hossa simply needs to stay healthy, and continue to dip into that fountain of youth.  He has all the attributes he needs to continue to be successful.

Tomas Jurco

I believe this guy has the potential to be a solid third or fourth-line winger for the Chicago Blackhawks.  But he needs to figure out how to impress Coach Q and staff during training camp.

Jurco only played in 13 games with the ‘Hawks last season.  He spent more time in the press box than he did on the ice.  If he can find a way to become more of a regular player next season, perhaps he can become more of an asset.

John Hayden

Now, here’s somebody who could go places!  This is a big-bodied left winger who took the NHL by storm, and showed he could make things happen with the likes of Jonathan Toews almost immediately.

Hayden’s not afraid to throw his body around, and he has the skill to be a top-six forward in this league.  Could he finally be the replacement for Brandon Saad?  I think Hayden should spend the entire summer studying film on Saad, trying to emulate his game.

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