The Avalanche have Nathan MacKinnon. Tampa Bay Lightning have Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos. The Capitals had Kuznetsov and Backstrom and even the St. Louis Blues have Ryan O'Reilly. More to the point, the Chicago Blackhawks won 3 Stanley Cups with strength down the middle in the form of future Hall of Fame center Jonathan Toews.
Right now the Chicago Blackhawks are lacking that organizational depth at center. We have found some good young talent in different roles at the NHL level, however we are starting to realize that none of them project to be longterm solutions down the middle.
Those 4 teams listed were the last 5 Stanley Cup winning teams and their strength of having at least one true #1 center. Of course no one had a better one than Chicago did as evidence by our 3 Stanley Cup wins in just 6 seasons, however Jonathan Toews days in Chicago may be nearing their close.
Lukas Reichel, Frank Nazar, Philipp Kurashev, Sam Lafferty, Max Domi, and Jason Dickinson likely all have something in common: None of them will likely be a center for the Blackhawks when we are a perennial playoff team again. While I hope that Reichel, Nazar, and Kurashev are still around it is clear to me that all 3 are going to be best suited on the wings for our next 1C.
Who might that be we do not know yet, but find him we must. IF (huge IF) we are lucky enough to select Connor Bedard keep in mind he may start off as a center in some games, but ultimately will be best situated as a RW in the NHL.
Maybe some of our recent picks in the 2nd round will prove to be solid centerman like Paul Ludwinski (smaller center, best suited for bottom 6, not off to the best OHL season) or Ryan Greene (6-1, perhaps a top 2 center, playing well for the Terriers).
Leo Carlsson, Adam Fantilli, and Dalibor Dvorsky to me are the focus here. They all look like NHL top 2 centers to me with the potential to be dominant 1C's for a team. This is where our focus should be come the draft. I like all 3 players quite a bit and know that Chicago would love each players' competitiveness.
Look no further than the history of how we won our 3 cups, as well as the last 5 teams to do the same... when it comes to winning there is always a central issue: You need centers. At present, this is the most glaring problem with the Chicago Blackhawks.