3 reasons the Blackhawks are still worth watching this season

Watching the Chicago Blackhawks in 2023-24 has not been a fun experience, with the team one of just a handful eliminated from playoff contention in March.

Mar 15, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard (98) warms up before
Mar 15, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard (98) warms up before / Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
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Younger players will look to prove themselves during this final month

With the Blackhawks out of playoff contention, expect them to move some players around and recall younger talent. One of those players already recalled is Lukas Reichel, who should be in Chicago for the rest of the season. He played well in his return, and you could expect more ice time for Reichel if he continues his upward trajectory. 

Wyatt Kaiser is another name to keep an eye on for the last few games in March until the season ends. Kaiser hasn’t seen time with the Blackhawks since December, but he has appeared in 23 games this year, giving Chicago a physical presence capable of averaging over a block per game. 

The Blackhawks may not stop there, and we know players like Reichel and Kaiser, plus recent call-up Landon Slaggert, will want to do all they can in this final month to show they deserve a spot at the NHL level for 2024-25. So we’re not just looking at a team with nothing to lose, but also plenty of bubble players playing with a similar mentality to prove they’re worthy of sticking around. 

This is the kind of stuff we see in preseason hockey and in prospects games, but these upcoming contests all count. By the end of the season, if the above players and every youngster who sees time in Chicago impress the coaches and front office, they just increased their odds of playing full-time in the NHL next year. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference as of March 17th)