3 players who were the Chicago Blackhawks' biggest surprises this season

These players exceeded expectations on the Blackhawks roster
Colorado Avalanche v Chicago Blackhawks
Colorado Avalanche v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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In one week, the Chicago Blackhawks will wrap up the 2023-24 season with their final game in Los Angeles, on April 18th, against the LA Kings.

After spending the last few years in a transition period, this was the season that would begin a new era for the Blackhawks with changes throughout the organization. Off the ice, Danny Wirtz would take over as the team's owner after the sudden passing of Rocky Wirtz in July of 2023. The on-ice product would also be drastically different, as for the first time in 17 years, franchise icons Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews would not be on the opening-night roster after they depart from Chicago.

With the team being completely different from what fans have been used to for the better part of two decades, a new franchise pillar would be making his debut at the United Center. After winning the NHL's Draft Lottery and securing the first overall pick, season ticket profits skyrocketed as word quickly spread that Connor Bedard was coming to Chicago. The NHL's top prospect since Edmonton Oilers' forward Connor McDavid in 2015, the Blackhawks had found the centerpiece for their rebuild.

Blackhawks General Manager Kyle Davidson added some veteran leadership to aid the young players making the jump to the NHL this season. Taylor Hall, Nick Foligno, and Corey Perry were the biggest names acquired by the Blackhawks in the offseason, though not all went as planned.

Taylor Hall's season ended just 10 games in after ACL surgery and Perry was released from the team soon after due to an off-ice altercation that violated team protocols. On the other hand, Foligno has become a fan and locker-room favorite, resulting in a two-year extension being granted to the veteran forward.

The Blackhawks' current record stands at 23-50-5 and another top-five draft choice is just a few short months away. Many young players have begun their NHL careers in Chicago this season, with some showing they are more than ready for the increased role. The spotlight has been on Connor Bedard this season, but there have been other players who succeeded expectations and have been bright spots throughout the Blackhawks roster.