Alex Vlasic and Kevin Korchinski
These two young defensemen are skating in their first full NHL season and proving they belong. Korchinski is not even supposed to be here right now! He only made the roster because the Hawks had a nine-game window for him to get some experience before he was supposed to go back to the juniors.
Korchinski showed so much potential that he is staying the full season. He has had his share of rookie mistakes. For example, he was terrible against the Devils in the Hawks' recent game in New Jersey.
His offensive game has so much potential. He is displaying what the front office envisioned when they made a top 10 pick in the 2022 draft.
Vlasic is quietly becoming a shutdown defense. He has been careful with the puck too. His size on the ice really stands out.
Seth Jones' contract guarantees he will be part of the next good Blackhawks team. Vlasic and Korchinski have shown enough to join him to form the foundation of the blue line on those teams.
Officially he is one of the alternate captains. Unofficially, he is the captain of the team. The young players have relied on his guidance this season.
On the ice, he does everything a captain should do. He got hurt when he defended the honor of Bedard in New Jersey by dropping gloves with the man responsible for breaking Bedard's jaw.
He has had a solid season offensively with 17 points. Foligno is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the season, but general manager Kyle Davidson hopes to re-sign him (subscription required). Foligno may be getting up there in years, but these transition teams could use his steady leadership.