Chicago Blackhawks: Handing out 2021 player awards

By Jimmy Lynch
Dominik Kubalik #8, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Dominik Kubalik #8, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Connor Murphy #5, Chicago Blackhawks
Connor Murphy #5, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Best Defensively: Connor Murphy

I don’t know if anyone really deserves to be the best defensively on a team that gives up so many high danger scoring chances and is always one of the worst in the league when it comes to goals against.

But, even still I have to give the honor to Connor Murphy. Murphy truly has come a long way since joining the Blackhawks. The former Arizona Coyote was once viewed as a bad trade piece when the Hawks traded Hjalmarsson for Murphy. Now that trade looks like a no-brainer.

Murphy is a great defensive defenseman for a team, however, he is not a true number one guy that this team is missing.

Biggest Surprise: Brandon Hagel

I don’t think I found out that Hagel’s nickname is Bagel until like May, but man do I hope we hear it for the next couple of years at the United Center. Hagel has to be the biggest surprise on this team. He finished in the top five for points on this team with 24 and after getting put into the lineup after the first couple games there was no chance he ever was going to leave it.

While the Blackhawks lineup is not as deep as other teams, Hagel helped make the bottom six more effective. The Hawks have holes in their lineup, so Hagel will probably get a crack in the top six next season, but in the long run, he will be more effective on the third or fourth line.