3 things to watch over the Chicago Blackhawks final 8 games of the season

The Blackhawks season is entering its final month so here are a few things to keep an eye on while the season wraps up.
Chicago Blackhawks Bench
Chicago Blackhawks Bench / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Even though nobody truly expected the Chicago Blackhawks to contend this year, it's always sad to see your favorite team's season come to an end. The Blackhawks have eight more games left on the 2023-24 schedule, so let's go over a few things to watch while they wrap up their season.

1. Connor Bedard

This one feels like an obvious answer, but I feel it needs to be said. Watching Bedard this year has been a fever dream, to say the least. Knowing that he is only 18 years old and will continue to get even better with a full offseason of NHL-level training will always put a smile on my face.

In the last game against Philadelphia, Bedard only notched one point in the 5-1 win. However, it was an absolutely stunning pass between defenders for an assist to Kurashev for the goal.

We cannot let these plays go unnoticed over the next few weeks as we're going to have a long offseason ahead of us without new highlights every few days.

2. Bottom 6 Guys Fighting for a Lineup Spot Next Year

One of the fun storylines from this year was Jason Dickinson reaching 20 goals and earning himself a two-year extension. Nobody expected much out of anybody except Bedard this year, so this was a nice surprise.

Guys like Colin Blackwell, Taylor Raddysh, and even Lukas Reichel now are all potentially on the chopping block as the Hawks can bring in more talent this offseason.

These final eight games can serve as a resume-builder for some of these guys to warrant starting the 2024 season in the NHL or even snagging an extension like Foligno or Dickinson have.

Reichel may have had an incredibly rough start to his year, but a strong finish may warrant another shot next year where he can bounce back after improving his game this offseason.

3. Draft Lottery Standings

With the recent hot streak the Hawks have been on, they may have played themselves out of the best odds at landing the number one pick in the draft this offseason.

With a 3-1-0 record in their last four games, the Hawks (49 points) have a solid gap between themselves and the San Jose Sharks (42 points) for the least amount of points in the NHL this season.

The Hawks are not locked into the number two spot just yet, but they seem to be poised to snag one of the top three spots. The Anaheim Ducks sit next to them with 52 points then Columbus is quite far ahead with 60 points.

We won't know the exact order until late May or early June when the lottery actually happens, but these final games could matter. If the Hawks had won a game or two more, they would not have landed Bedard.

The results of this season may be viewed by most as a "lost season" or "another year of the rebuild". For me, I'm viewing this as a stepping stone towards a decade or more of success. Every game matters. These players are building chemistry with each other and with a young team like the Hawks, they're learning how to play at the NHL level in general.

With all that being said, let's just enjoy watching the Blackhawks play for the next few weeks. Let's appreciate the strides a young player has made since his first start back in October or the forgotten veteran re-establishing himself as a leader and productive scorer. Let's appreciate the Blackhawks for not only who they are, but who they will become in the not-so-distant future.