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Chicago Blackhawks: Dark Horse Candidates In 2019-20

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 12: Dylan Sikura #95 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates to the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the United Center on December 12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Penguins 6-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 12: Dylan Sikura #95 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates to the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the United Center on December 12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Penguins 6-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks will need depth scoring, if they expect to make a legitimate playoff push.

If the Chicago Blackhawks are going to have a successful season they are going to need more than just Toews, Kane, DeBrincat, and Strome. They need to find depth scoring elsewhere.

Obviously, the Blackhawks can turn to Brandon Saad, or Andrew Shaw, to score a big goal. The ‘Hawks can also look to players like Drake Caggiula and Erik Gustafsson, but either way, they will need depth scoring from all of their players.

Here are some dark horse candidates that could put up big offensive numbers this season.

Dominik Kubalik

Dominik Kubalik has been talked about a lot throughout the offseason by Blackhawks’ fans. I know Blackhawk Up’s very own Tony Gianares has been awestruck by what could be the Blackhawks’ next hidden gem.

Kubalik is someone I would like to see play with DeBrincat and Strome, and honestly, he might get that opportunity unless someone else on this list steps up to the plate.

Kubalik is the complete goal-scoring playmaker. I honestly don’t know how he fell to the Blackhawks in a trade from the LA Kings, but we will gladly take him.

You can watch the 2018-19 National League (NLA) MVP’s highlights below.

Kirby Dach

There are a lot of pros and cons to Kirby Dach playing in the NHL. To me, Kirby Dach needs to play against people his size. After playing last season in the WHL, the 6’4″ Dach should honestly be playing against people who are similar to his build.

Dach might be better suited playing in the NHL now, and would definitely lead the Blackhawks 3rd line to success.

If he does play in the NHL, Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw would be great complementary players or possibly even Alexander Nylander.

Chicago has a lot of quality players they can add to their roster this year. Keeping Kirby Dach in the NHL might be the best move for everyone.

Dach would be able to develop with other young players like Nylander, Dylan Strome, and Alex DeBrincat.

He would also experience hockey games with the Blackhawks instead of going back to play in the juniors.

Although he might not receive the same ice time in the NHL as he would in the WHL, Dach would be playing in meaningful games. That’s a great learning experience for a skilled, young player like Dach.

At the end of the day, the Blackhawks need to pick their 12 best forwards to put into their opening night roster. With his size, speed, skill, and strength Kirby Dach belongs there.

https://twitter.com/Blackhawk_Up/status/1152262873084825600

Alexander Nylander

Alexander Nylander was brought to Chicago to be the next “Dylan Strome”. What I mean by that is Strome was brought to the Blackhawks having lost a lot of his stock as a prospect.

The situation he was in, in Arizona, did not allow Strome to succeed. Then, suddenly a change of scenery helped push Strome into the top-6.

The Blackhawks are hoping to have similar success with Nylander, who has only played 19 NHL games over the last 3 season.

The 2016 8th overall draft pick has not found a home in the NHL yet, so maybe Chicago is where he can finally find success.

Nylander has a lot of skill, and the Blackhawks are going to put him with skilled players.

His skating, shooting, and stick handling all help raise his game to the next level. Let’s see if Nylander brings this skill to training camp and can earn a roster spot.

Dylan Sikura / John Quenneville

I listed these two players together, because I believe they are going after the same roster spot.

The Chicago Blackhawks have a complete roster this season, with little room to carry extra players come October or November.

Dylan Sikura played in 33 games last season and spent a considerable amount of time playing with Jonathan Toews. Yet, he failed to produce a single goal.

Sikura’s stock with the Blackhawks went down when the ‘Hawks brought in Quenneville and Nylander.

I just don’t think there are enough roster spots to go around, and one, or both, players might find themselves in the AHL. Of course, they still have training camp and preseason to prove me wrong.

There is still a considerable amount of time before the Blackhawks season will start. Keep an eye on these players during training camp and preseason, they may just surprise you.

Next. Why Players' Weekend Would Benefit Chicago Blackhawks, NHL. dark

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