The Blackhawks need one of their young defensemen to be a star.
Adam Boqvist, Ian Mitchell, and Nicolas Beaudin can all be great offensive defensemen, but this team needs better team defense. Look at the way the Hawks played last night. They gave up some pretty bad goals and left their goaltender out to dry.
Yesterday was the first time Jeremy Colliton changed goalies this season. While I am not going to complain about why he did it, I do think Lankinen was not to blame for last night’s loss. The Hawks need to be better in front of their goalies and it starts with the defensemen.
Riley Stillman is only 23-years-old. The 2016 draft pick has just 47 games of NHL experience. While it is still up for grabs on whether or not he can be an NHL defenseman, it would really help the Hawks if he could be.
Bowman did a great job adding defensemen to the organization through the past couple of years, however, most of them fit a similar mold. Boqvist Mitchell and Beaudin are all smaller guys that are good with the puck. At least one of them really should become a star defenseman in the NHL, but winning is not done through offensive defensemen.
The Hawks need more defensemen like Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya, they need a great shut down pair that can defend a lead. They also need some bigger guys. Seabrook was a physical guy on the blue line and Chicago needs more players like that.
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We still do not know a lot about Stillman as the big piece in the trade that brought him to Chicago was Henrik Borgström so I think the next ten games will be critical in seeing where Stillman fits with the team.