The Chicago Blackhawks are heading into a mysterious year. No one is able to predict whether or not this team is going to make noise, or sink to the bottom of the standings like last year. However, with some new faces on the roster, they might have some players who can make a difference this year.
Chris Kunitz was picked up by the Chicago Blackhawks during the free agency frenzy we all experienced. Now, this definitely wasn’t the talk of the day. However, it did make the Blackhawks seem a little more pure than not.
Kunitz, who turns 39 later this month, is a key veteran figure in the league. Now, many fans could be disappointed by the fact that we acquired an older player, but they need to quit looking at the age and focus on the experience.
Kunitz had 13 goals and 16 assists last year without missing an entire game. That’s pretty big being a player who is just shy of 40 years old.
He’s not a scoring powerhouse, but he’s able to put something up on the scoresheet, which is something the Blackhawks need all over the lineup. If he can produce points and lead a line of younger players with his experience, we could be looking at a potential difference maker on the team.
OK, stop rolling your eyes. Yes, Cam Ward is on the list, and there’s one major reason why. Although he’s on the decline and hasn’t been a statured goaltender for a handful of years, he’s going to be in a big role this season.
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Ever since starting goalie Corey Crawford fell off the grid in November, the Blackhawks lacked major depth in the net. They needed something to fill the void Crow did for plenty of years, and with a new season in sight, that problem may have seemed to have passed. However, that’s not the case.
With Crawford making little, if not any progression in recovery, we’re going to be seeing Cam Ward in net a lot more than you’d like.
I’d guess that he’s going to be playing more games than Crawford this season, even if he has recovered a little from his ailment. If he can get back to playing at an above average level, he could be a huge difference maker.
Adam Boqvist has a lot of pressure on his back. Being the team’s first 2018 draft pick and with the Blackhawks’ desperation for a legendary defenseman to conquer the blue line, he has enormous shoes to fill. However, at training camp, he was the player on the ice to watch.
Nearly every Blackhawks analyst had nothing but good words to say about Boqvist. He’s fast, agile and has great hockey IQ for an 18-year-old rookie. If he can live up to expectations, whether that’s at the start of the season or further into it, we could be seeing a dynamic change in Blackhawks hockey.
After being traded to the Blackhawks for Ryan Hartman, Ejdsell has become a topic of revenge. He only played six games with the Blackhawks last season and only had one assist. However, he has the potential to be a huge piece to the Blackhawks’ offensive puzzle.
Standing as a 6-foot-5, 214-pound center, the Blackhawks have a powerhouse in the faceoff circle. He’s 23, and has a pretty good idea of what to do on the ice.
If there’s anything the Blackhawks have lacked besides scoring, it’s grit on the ice. This is a player who has an option to be a brick, being able to win faceoffs and create space for speedy defenseman, or snipers room to score, if he utilizes his big body.
Out of these four players, the Blackhawks actually have a lot of potential on the ice for the upcoming season. Although nobody can predict how well these players will do, we can definitely be hopeful and be grateful to have such potential. With that said, cheers to a hopeful good hockey season.