Patrick Kane is the franchise player of the Chicago Blackhawks, as he was expected to be when he was drafted first overall back in 2007. Over the course of the Blackhawks’ down years, he still averaged more than a point per game, with a 110 point season in 2018-19.
He currently has 22 points this season in 17 games, but he is not lightyears ahead of his teammates when it comes to their offensive output compared to years past.
Alex Debrincat proves to be the go-to guy in overtime for Kane, winning three games for the Blackhawks thus far. He also has 16 points on the year, so he has been pulling his weight offensively for the Blackhawks.
Dominik Kubalik currently has 14 points on the year and even though most of those points came on the powerplay, a point is still a point and that is one more goal that Patrick Kane didn’t have to create or score himself.
I would like to see Dylan Strome add more to the team as his eight points have been underwhelming. He has created some chances, but if the Blackhawks want to make the playoffs, he will have to improve his offensive production as the second-line center.
Thanks to the surprising prospects this season and the improvements from the Blackhawks coaching staff, Patrick Kane doesn’t have to carry all the time.
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Pius Suter has lived up to the hype, and, in my opinion, exceeded expectations in his rookie campaign, leading ALL rookies with six goals and 10 points. Philipp Kurashev is not far behind with four goals and eight points, ranking fourth out of every rookie in the league.
Not only is he offensively gifted, but he has a relentless work ethic, winning a 2 on 1 puck
battle to set up the tying goal vs the Columbus Blue Jackets. Skill and hard work in players are very rare, and the Blackhawks are lucky that their scouting department found them several.
Goaltending is solid with Calder Trophy leader Kevin Lankinen and Malcolm Subban, who has proved to be a solid backup. The Chicago Blackhawks have improved in every aspect of the game within a single season thanks to the fast, unexpected development of every prospect, which takes a lot of weight off of Kane’s shoulders.
The coaching staff also improved as the years went on, and Jeremy Colliton is definitely a candidate for the Jack Adams Award and is essentially a lock for the trophy if his team qualifies for the playoffs.
Though this team still has a few flaws, such as allowing the opposition to dominate them for fifteen to forty minutes, as if they were playing NHL 21 on rookie mode, his team still manages to win games. Jimmy Waite is the best goaltending coach in the NHL, coaching two prospects into reliable NHL goalies who can keep their team in games they shouldn’t win.
Last season, Kane ended with 84 points, 24 more than Jonathan Toews’s second-place 60 points. He shouldered most of the offensive output, and when the opposition would lock him down nothing much would come from the rest of the team.
Now, the Blackhawks have multiple guys who can score and create offense for them with a surprising unsung hero in Mattias Janmark, who has contributed six goals for the team. He scored six goals TOTAL in the last couple of seasons for the Dallas Stars as a depth forward.
Patrick Kane is still a wizard, there’s no question there. But even when his magic isn’t there, the Blackhawks still manage to win games thanks to the quick development of their prospects. He is still the cornerstone of the franchise, but he finally has enough help to not have to worry about carrying the team every night.