3 X-Factors that will make the rest of the Blackhawks season exciting

The Chicago Blackhawks have struggled through one of their roughest seasons in recent memory, but it doesn’t mean the fans should stop watching them just yet.

Feb 15, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard (98) controls the
Feb 15, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard (98) controls the / Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Blackhawks likely won’t be making the playoffs in 2023-24, but they still have a lot to play for throughout the remainder of the season. For one, rookie Connor Bedard is back, and the 18-year-old is playing like he never missed any extended time. His growth and that of this young Blackhawks core alone is enough to keep the fans watching this season despite the piling losses. 

There is one young goaltender in town hoping to keep showing the Blackhawks that he’s worth keeping around long-term despite his constant struggles. And finally, quite a few major statistical categories are worth keeping tabs on as the season reaches its latter stages.

Connor Bedard and the brewing core

Although the Blackhawks are the worst team in hockey and among the least relevant, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting to watch. Teams like the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, and Columbus Blue Jackets are still trending south in their respective rebuilds, but the Blackhawks aren’t, and they can thank Connor Bedard and a young, brewing core for that. 

The generational talent in Bedard has played as-advertised despite missing time with a fractured jaw. Through 40 games, Bedard has 34 points and 15 goals, good for a 70-point pace in an 82-game stretch and on pace for 58 points this season if he stays healthy. But Bedard isn’t the only name to watch in Chicago. Kevin Korchinski, Lukas Reichel, Louis Crevier, Isaak Phillips, and Alex Vlasic are all 22 and under, looking to be the primary pieces around Bedard. 

No, the Blackhawks aren’t anywhere near completing their rebuild, and there’s a chance not all the players listed above will be there when this team starts winning games. But throughout the many losses this season, Blackhawks fans can still enjoy the surefire growth that will come from this young core.