Top 5 best discount defensemen the Blackhawks can sign in NHL free agency

The Chicago Blackhawks most likely won’t attract any big-name defenseman during NHL free agency, thanks to their current rebuild.

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Jani Hakanpaa has made a living getting in front of pucks

If Kyle Davidson wants one of the most physical players in the 2024 free agent class to join his team for a season or two, Jani Hakanpaa would be a great fit. An imposing defenseman, Hakanpaa plays a game similar to what you will see from Ilya Lyubushkin but multiplied by two, and that is no exaggeration. 

Hakanpaa has logged over 200 hits in each of his previous two seasons, and there is no reason that he won’t reach that number for the third straight year. He’s yet another player mentioned in this article who you would put onto the third-pairing and one who will block at least a couple of shots per game. Further, if the Blackhawks need help at 4-on-5, Hakanpaa can continue to play that role, and he has done so very well over the past two years.

Hakanpaa is in his third season with the Dallas Stars, so he’s yet another name on this list who can help lift the Blackhawks as they look to keep improving. He is also one with that ‘journeyman’ label, like the other players on this list, so he won’t stand in the way of younger talent that Kyle Davidson would most likely look to promote as they become NHL-ready players.