Blackhawks: Top 3 needs heading into the offseason

Dylan Strome, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Dylan Strome, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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David Kampf, Chicago Blackhawks
David Kampf, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Forward Depth

The Blackhawks need to beef up their forward depth. I believe they have the depth on defense to make a playoff run, they don’t have the bottom six they used to have during their deep runs in the early 2010s.

Players like Zack Smith, Ryan Carpenter, David Kampf, and Alex Nylander fill the bottom-six role well. The issue is, that’s only four players. Sometimes the team throws Brandon Saad and Patrick Kane on the bottom two lines, but that leaves a lack of skill on the top two lines.

The bottom-six forwards for the game against the Sharks had Dominik Kubalik, Kirby Dach, Brandon Hagel, Matthew Highmore, David Kampf, and Ryan Carpenter playing there.

The top-six forwards had Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad, Alex Nylander, Dylan Strome and Patrick Kane playing there.

There are a lot of holes in that lineup. It doesn’t scream Stanley Cup. In the offseason, after the team re-signs Strome and Kubalik, they need to look at signing one or two bottom-six forwards to strengthen up their offensive play.

With a tight salary cap, the team might have to sign a depth player for one season. They might only have a window of one or two seasons to make the playoffs.