Blackhawks: Top Three Breakout Candidates For 2021-22
The Chicago Blackhawks have a number of players that could have breakout seasons in 2021-22.
This will be a big year for the Blackhawks. Will have talked about it in the past. This season is going to be a defining year for this team. Chicago is looking to put themselves back on the map after going through a retool the past few seasons.
With all the different young players and new additions to the roster, there are plenty of picks to be the top breakout player of the season. Today I want to limit to just three players that are going to have big seasons.
Everyone expects Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat to lead the Blackhawks, and everyone expects Marc-Andre Fleury to be the backbone of this team, but it is the other players that somehow shock everyone and put up crazy numbers that the Hawks need to succeed.
Let’s dive in with the first player:
1. Alex Nylander
Alex Nylander missed last season with an injury, but this year will be a big year for the young forward. After getting drafted eighth overall in 2016 by the Buffalo Sabres. Nylander came from the same draft as Alex DeBrincat, but their careers definitely have gone differently.
Nylander never really found a home with the Buffalo Sabres, he only played in 19 games over the course of three seasons in Buffalo, and during that time he put up six points. Then he came to Chicago during the 2019 offseason after a trade, and the move gave Chicago a young forward that needed a fresh start.
Nylander has some talent and he put up 26 points in 65 games during his first season in Chicago. Nylander seemed to be getting a lot of chances as the forward depth was not that great, how he does this season will be interesting as he is not entering with a guaranteed spot in the lineup.
I am counting on him to have a good season and put up 15 to 20 goals as a reliably third-line forward for this team, who knows maybe he even exceeds that expectation and somehow gets back into the top six with Jonathan Toews and Dominik Kubalik. This year will be interesting for Nylander.