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Chicago Blackhawks: 2019-20 Line Combinations Wish List

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 06: Chicago Blackhawks Center Dylan Strome (17) celebrates his goal with Chicago Blackhawks Left Wing Alex DeBrincat (12) and Chicago Blackhawks Right Wing Patrick Kane (88) during the third period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks on January 6, 2019, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 06: Chicago Blackhawks Center Dylan Strome (17) celebrates his goal with Chicago Blackhawks Left Wing Alex DeBrincat (12) and Chicago Blackhawks Right Wing Patrick Kane (88) during the third period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks on January 6, 2019, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Blackhawks have been busy ever since the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver a few weeks back. Where will all of these new faces fit into the lineup next season?

With the offseason in full force, and October 4th slowly creeping around the corner, we have some time to envision what the Blackhawks’ lineup might look like on the opening night of the 2019-20 NHL season. Of course, players might be traded and circumstances will change, but let’s take a look at what the line combinations might look like anyway.

Forwards

Line 1: Alex DeBrincatDylan StromePatrick Kane

I really hope Jeremy Colliton puts Kane with DeBrincat and Strome. This line would feature 3 of the Blackhawks’ best playmakers and goal scorers. The Blackhawks can remake the Panarin-Anisimov-Kane line with DeBrincat, Strome, and Kane. Strome has the size of Anisimov and can play in front of the net, while DeBrincat and Kane can set each other up with cross-ice one-timers.

I know I have this line listed as the Blackhawks’ number 1 line, but that is only based on offensive ability, the second line would be a force to reckon with all across the ice.

Line 2: Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsDylan Sikura

The Blackhawks sparked Jonathan Toews offensive side last season by playing him alongside Patrick Kane for most of the season. This year, the Blackhawks will need to separate Toews from Kane and let Toews’ line shut down opponents throughout all 3 zones.  The Jonathan Toews line will have speed and power, something the ‘Hawks desperately want from their Top 6 forward group. The ‘Hawks should use Toews to shut down opponents. This would allow Kane and company to score more goals game in and game out.

Line 3: Dominik Kubalik-David KampfAndrew Shaw

David Kampf needs to step up this season. After playing a fourth line role throughout much of his young career, I think he will finally get a shot on the Blackhawks’ third line. Dominik Kubalik might be the hidden gem for the Blackhawks next year.

Kubalik has had experience playing with Kampf and the two paired with Andrew Shaw might be a force to reckon with on the third line. (If I did not believe that Artem Anisimov will be traded, I would have put him in this third line center position.)

Line 4: Drake CaggiulaRyan CarpenterBrendan Perlini

Ryan Carpenter is going to be the center on the Blackhawks’ fourth line. Drake Caggiula earned everything he accomplished last season. Caggiula put up 12 points last season with the Blackhawks before getting hurt late last season. Caggiula could play a heavy role on the Blackhawks fourth line next season, having put up 56 hits in just 24 games.

Brendan Perlini would get the opportunity to be the offensive star on his own line next season. Perlini did not find a home like Dylan Strome after being traded to the Blackhawks last year, so it will be interesting to see how this season goes for Perlini and the Blackhawks’ fourth line.

Scratched Players

If Artem Anisimov is still on the Blackhawks going into opening night, then I believe he will start and Perlini will be scratched. However, he should be traded soon. Anisimov has a cap hit ($4.55 mil AAV) that does not fit with the Blackhawks and he also has fallen victim to the center depth in the organization.

The Blackhawks signed Carpenter and extended David Kampf, so Anisimov is more expendable than ever. John Quenneville and Anton Wedin will get a shot with the Blackhawks next season. Quenneville, the nephew to Blackhawks ex-head coach, Joel Quenneville, was brought over in a trade with New Jersey for John Hayden. Wedin, who signed with the Blackhawks after a breakout season in the SHL, helps add to the Blackhawks’ forward depth. 

The Blackhawks still have a few months to shake up the lines I have drawn up above. Players can also show they have more skill right out of development camp. Dominik Kahun was not expected to be a key contributor last year and look at the impact he made. Things can change, but if they don’t, these are the line combinations that I expect to see in October for the Blackhawks.

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