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NHL Power Rankings: 2017-18 Way-Too-Early Edition, Part II

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CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is interviewed during the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is interviewed during the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 01: Patrick Sharp
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 01: Patrick Sharp /

14. Chicago Blackhawks

Stan Bowman warned the Blackhawks that after the season there would be changes. He was not bluffing. Bowman fired assistant Mike Kitchen and AHL coach Ted Dent.

He then shook up the roster with some huge trades. Bowman traded Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for Laurent Dauphin and Connor Murphy. He then acquired Brandon Saad and Anton Forsberg for Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte.

Key additions: Brandon Saad (trade); Anton Forsberg (trade); Patrick Sharp (free agency); Lance Bouma (free agency); Tommy Wingels (free agency).

Key losses: Niklas Hjalmarsson (trade); Artemi Panarin (trade); Scott Darling (trade); Marian Hossa (injury); Marcus Kruger (trade); Trevor van Riemsdyk (expansion draft).

First-round pick: Henri Jokiharju. Jokiharju projects as a top-pairing defenseman. It will be a few years before Chicago thinks of bringing him up to the NHL.

Many believe that the Blackhawks are worse off after the moves. Bowman mortgaged the present for cost certainty in the future. The ’Hawks are going forward with a youth movement because they will be cheap for years to come. I feel the ’Hawks are a bubble team now.

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13. San Jose Sharks

The Sharks kept their own guys in the family. They re-signed Joe Thornton to a one-year deal. Doug Wilson then locked up Martin Jones and Marc-Edouard Vlasic to contract extensions. Both deals, in my opinion, do not look good long term.

The Sharks lost one of their pillars in Patrick Marleau to the Maple Leafs. The Sharks’ offense is going to suffer without Marleau.

Key additions: None.

Key losses: Patrick Marleau (free agency); David Schlemko (expansion draft).

First-round pick: Josh Norris. He has the potential to be a top-line center.

The Sharks were stagnant this offseason and are currently in a holding pattern.

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