3 way too early reasons to be optimistic about the Blackhawks in 2024-25

Sometimes, teams must get worse before they get better, and the Chicago Blackhawks were no exception. But there should be a lot of optimism for 2024-25.
Carolina Hurricanes v Chicago Blackhawks
Carolina Hurricanes v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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The Chicago Blackhawks may have had a bad year, but in 2023-24, it was okay to field a poor hockey team if it meant vast improvement across the next two seasons. That improvement is something every hockey fan rooting for the Blackhawks wants to see starting in October, and it shouldn’t be limited to the “nowhere to go but up” cliche. 

While 2024-25 won’t end any postseason droughts, it will reassure fans that general manager Kyle Davidson has this organization on the right path, both with the big club and in what should be a brewing prospects pool starting with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. 

Beyond the pool, let’s talk about three more reasons why it’s completely okay to be optimistic about a team that will be young but even more exciting to watch. 

History is on Connor Bedard’s side

When you look at other former first-overall picks who were in Connor Bedard’s camp talent-wise since 2015-16, they all made major leaps from Year 1 to Year 2 of their respective campaigns. Connor McDavid, for example, went from 1.06 points per game to 1.22 per, while Auston Matthews finished 2016-17 with 0.84 per before following up with 1.02 per. 

Flashback to 2006-07, Sidney Crosby put up 120 points in 79 games, or 1.52 per contest, just one year after he logged 1.26 per. Crosby, Matthews, and McDavid all became faces of the NHL from there, and the same will be in Bedard’s future following a season when he registered a respectable 0.897 per game this past season. 

Look for Bedard, even if his Blackhawks team is further behind the 2015-16 Oilers, 2006-07 Penguins, and 2017-18 Maple Leafs, to enjoy a dramatic uptick in productivity. History is on his side when generational or near-generational talents enter their second season, and it’s likely he will hit the point-per-game mark and beyond in 2024-25. 

No, he won’t carry this team to the playoffs, but if he’s the reason they play better than many believe, Bedard will be a huge reason behind the sudden surge in the team’s overall points total.