Where Could Vinnie Hinostroza Play for the Blackhawks?

Vinnie Hinostroza was re-aqcuired by the Blackhawks yesterday afternoon. But, where could he play?

The Chicago Blackhawks decided to trade for Vinnie Hinostroza yesterday afternoon. He is a small, fast, high-energy forward who has the potential to create scoring chances for his team, but doesn’t capitalize. The Blackhawks lines seem to be set with the forward pairings looking something like this:

Debrincat – Dach – Kane

Kubalik – Strome – Kurashev

Janmark – Soderberg – Suter

Highmore – Kampf – Carpenter

*This is without Brandon Hagel, who I see returning to his place on the second line once he returns from COVID protocol.

Looking at how lines are made in the NHL, the top six are the scoring lines with the team’s highly skilled forwards. Patrick Kane and Alex Debrincat make a great combination, and Kirby Dach is looking pretty good, minus the mistake he made against Nashville. The second line consists of players with the same offensive skillset as the first line, so there’s not much of a difference with the line’s responsibility there.

The third line is usually made of two-way forwards who can be trusted against any of the opposition’s lines, but an offensively stacked team like the 2015 Chicago Blackhawks would have three scoring lines instead of two. This really depends on the team’s roster and the way the Blackhawks look, the third line looks to be another scoring line with Janmark, Soderberg, and Suter.

And last is the fourth line, full of guys who attempt to shift the energy and momentum back to their team’s favor. This line should be throwing out hits every time they are on the ice and annoy the opposition on the forecheck. They aren’t expected to contribute offensively, but could score some goals when you least expect it.

This is where I could see Hinostroza playing most of his time.

Hinostroza is a better option than Matthew Highmore is on the fourth line, but the management seem to want their promising prospects in the lineup more often than not. Highmore has a high-energy style of play most nights, but Hinostroza could bring some more offense to the fourth line. The fourth line of Hinostroza, Kampf, and Carpenter could be a great line if Jeremy Colliton didn’t think David Kampf is top-six material (he’s not).

Based on what I have seen from the Blackhawks coaches and management, Hinostroza could be on the taxi squad for most of the season. If Hinostroza does get the opportunity to play for the Blackhawks again, look for him to be on the fourth line in place of Highmore.