3 free agent defensemen that make the most sense for the Chicago Blackhawks

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NHL Free Agency is quickly coming up on July 1st, and the Blackhawks could be more active than in recent seasons.

The team is entering a new phase of their rebuild which involves taking a step forward toward being more competitive in the standings. With the NHL Draft also approaching, there is lots of speculation over who the Blackhawks will select, and whether or not they will utilize their plethora of draft picks to acquire players via trade.

Free agency could be where the Blackhawks are the most active. Their $33.79 million in projected cap space will give Kyle Davidson and his team plenty to discuss in the weeks leading up to July 1st.

The Blackhawks have already gone ahead and started re-signing some of their current players to new deals. Alex Vlasic, Lukas Reichel, and Zach Sanford have all been extended to new deals, and more may soon follow.

The biggest need for the Blackhawks this summer is going to be adding high-end talent to play alongside the youth such as Connor Bedard, but they could also use a more established NHL-caliber defenseman on their right side.

Last year's blueline saw defensemen Alex Vlasic and Kevin Korchinski play their rookie seasons, with others such as Wyatt Kaiser, Ethan Del Mastro, and Louis Crevier getting games in the NHL as well. Vlasic was arguably the biggest surprise on the Blackhawks roster this season, establishing himself as a shutdown top-four defenseman in just his first season.

For many, the young defensemen played as expected. Korchinski showed his offensive potential and got better as the season progressed, but ultimately looked like a rookie in the NHL which is perfectly normal.

Injuries really hurt the Blackhawks defense core with Connor Murphy missing a sizeable chunk of the season, leaving the young players to take on increased roles that they weren't ready for. This leaves the team looking to add to their right side behind Seth Jones.

Certain UFA (unrestricted free agent) defensemen such as Brandon Montour (Florida Panthers) and Chris Tanev (Dallas Stars) will get lots of attention on the open market, but their age and experience might be more in-line with a contending team. However, there are still plenty of options that can make sense for the Blackhawks to explore.