How much salary cap space will the Chicago Blackhawks have to use this offseason?

David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks want to raise the standards next season.

It makes sense. Connor Bedard will enter his second full season with the hope of getting even better after a stellar rookie season that will end with the Calder Trophy.

Defenseman Alex Vlasic developed into a top-pair-worthy blueliner during his first full season. He is locked up now through the rest of the decade after he signed an extension.

The hope is Jason Dickinson can build upon his career season. Hopefully, goalie Petr Mrazek has put behind his injury issues as he stayed healthy all season. Also, Taylor Hall should return from a knee injury that wiped out most of his season.

Oh, and the Hawks have plenty of salary cap space to upgrade the roster this offseason.

The Hawks project to have $35,595,971 in cap space according to That is the second most.

Now general manager Kyle Davidson has made it clear he is not ready to max out the Hawks' salary cap, but he should use some of it especially to add some offense. The Blackhawks were dead last in average goals scored per game.

Philipp Kurashev emerged as a great linemate to skate with Bedard, and with Hall back, the Hawks could have a good top line. There is still work to do on the second line. Plus, Kurashev could be dropped down if the Hawks can find a player who is better at scoring goals.

Davidson can also go bargain shopping to upgrade the talent while prospects like Frank Nazar, Landon Slaggert, and hopefully Ryan Greene get some time to develop their professional games at the Hawks' AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.

Davidson can also use the massive cap space he has to get some draft pick compensation to take on a bad contract from a cap-strapped team. He did that with Mrazek, and it turned out to be a great move.

He can also possibly get a player like Hall and Nick Foligno from a team up against the cap as Davidson did with the Boston Bruins last summer.

This is why it has been nice to have a general manager who is patient and not willing to recklessly spend precious cap space. The future is Bedard, Vlasic, Nazar, Slaggert, Kevin Korchinski, and Drew Commesso. They still have to add top prospects such as Olivier Moore and Sam Rinzel.

The hope is these guys develop and then there is cap space to keep most of them. For now, the cap should be used to at least make sure no one has to monitor the Hawks NHL Draft Lottery odds.