In order for the Blackhawks to get back to the playoffs, a couple of things need to happen. The team needs to get better and improve its overall depth, and a few players need to have breakout seasons.
Improving the defense is on the minds of people within the organization as well as fans. Yes, you can add a defenseman via free agency, but that’s not always a guaranteed fix. In the Blackhawks case, the key to fixing the defense will likely come from within the organization.
After the defense, comes the forward depth. The Blackhawks top-6 looked really solid and showed great promise this season. You can’t say the same about the bottom-6 though. The dropoff in talent on the 3rd and 4th lines was too steep to overcome. The role players did not play their roles.
The Blackhawks are just a few pieces away from being a playoff team. However, they can’t count on free agency to fix all of their problems though. The Blackhawks will need breakthrough seasons from players within the organization, as we saw with Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, and Erik Gustafsson last season. Here are a few players that need to take that next step.