Projecting the Chicago Blackhawks lineup for next season
By Jimmy Lynch
Dominik Kubalik – Jonathan Toews – Andrew Shaw
Kubalik needs to have another great season next year for the Blackhawks to make the playoffs, and they are going to need Shaw to stay out of the penalty box and the injury list. Shaw can be a firecracker on the ice, whenever he is healthy enough to get things done that is. Jeremy Colliton and company could move Shaw up and down the lineup, I like him with any of these units. Only time will tell what Chicago is going to do here.
Brandon Saad – Kirby Dach – Patrick Kane
I like this line. I am not going to lie, I was not that high on Kirby Dach to kickstart the year. I wanted this team to take someone else, but when you look at the numbers he has put up so far he certainly looks like the right piece for this team. Chicago is lucky to have Dach, and pairing him with Patrick Kane only makes this team better.
Alex DeBrincat – Dylan Strome – Drake Caggiula
Strome and DeBrincat have not had the best year, and while that might help Stan Bowman in the office getting Strome under contract, it does not help the team on the ice. The Blackhawks are going to need Strome and DeBrincat back at the top of their game next season, and I think a big offseason priority should be finding someone who can play on their wing with them. Caggiula can slot in nicely for now, but we need to look down the road. If Chicago does end up with a first-round draft pick this offseason if a right-winger falls into their lap they might want to take him.
Alex Nylander – Ryan Carpenter – David Kampf
Gosh, I still can not get over the great move Stan Bowman made this offseason when he gave up Henri Jokiharji for Nylander. Nylander has been so instrumental on the fourth line. Anyway, the Blackhawks fourth line could use some work. Maybe we could put Shaw down and put Nylander on a line with more offensive talent, but that would just make the top lines weaker with turnovers from Nylander. I would like to see the Blackhawks try to find a place for Nylander, I just don’t see any place besides the bench for him right now.
Now let’s turn our attention to the defense.