The Chicago Blackhawks 2020-21 season is months away, but still what is the off-season all about if not predicting the future lineup?
At the start of each month, I think it will be fun to give my best prediction of what the lineup will look like not only to laugh at myself for being completely off when the season begins but to see how things change throughout the next couple of months.
Because the season was just a few days ago, the lineup might look pretty similar to what we saw the last time the Hawks played at the United Center. But it will also include a few players that did not play this season because of injuries in the lineup.
So without further ado here is what the Blackhawks lineup could look like on opening night when they play an opponent not yet named.
Alex DeBrincat – Kirby Dach – Patrick Kane
I think this line is the one lock everyone expects to see. Dach hopefully will be ready to go next season after the summer is used to get back to full health and improve. DeBrincat should have no problem picking up right where he left off, and Kane is Kane.
Dominik Kubalik – Jonathan Toews – Vinnie Hinostroza
This second line is pretty good on paper. Kubalik and Hinostroza had some success together for a few games this season, and Kubalik and Toews had success in 2019-20. This new line will let Hagel play a third-line role something he might strive in.
Alex Nylander – Pius Suter – Brandon Hagel
Suter is one of the most reliable players the Hawks added this past season. He had a great season and showed that he belongs in the NHL. While maybe being thrown into a top-line role was a bit much, he rose to the occasion. With Nylander back and hopefully better than ever, the Hawks third line would not be playing the best opponents in the league and might be able to have some success.
Brett Connolly – Philipp Kurashev – Mike Hardman
The fourth line was hard to put together. I want Kurashev to be involved somewhere in the lineup and the style of play doesn’t really match a fourth-line role. Right now I did not include David Kampf because I want to wait for him to get his contract. Assuming he re-signs sometime during the off-season I think he would slot in at center and Kurashev would move to the wing.
This does not include Ryan Carpenter, Henrik Borgstrom, Dylan Strome, Adam Gaudette, and MacKenzie Entwistle. There is still a lot of uncertainty revolving around the team and who stays and who goes. So honestly by the time the June edition of our way too early lineup prediction, this could already look really different.