Forums/Armchair-GM

Season Preview and analysis

Created by: WhatNowDiscussion
Initial Creation Date: Sep 24, 2019
Published: Sep 24 at 12:52 pm
Team: 2019-20 Chicago Blackhawks
Team Explanation
Drafting Summary:
The past 3 years for Hawks fans have surely been difficult. From winning 3 Stanley Cups to missing the playoffs the past 2 seasons. However some good has come from the Hawks lackluster play as it has allowed for the opportunity to draft some very talented players. The Hawks have had little success drafting in the first round since taking Kane back in 2007. Every first round drafted player has been traded by the Hawks (since Kane) and have either become busts or have become top nine players (with the exception of Teuvo Teravainen). However, the Hawks are one of the best teams to find hidden gems late in the draft. For example, Andrew Shaw 5th round, Brandon Saad 2nd round, Vinny Hinostroza 6th round, Dylan Sikura 6th round, Chad Krys 2nd round, Alex DeBrincat 2nd round, Evan Barratt 3rd round, Ian Mitchell 2nd round, and Alex Vlasic 2nd round. All of these players currently are or projected to be top 4 defenseman or a top 6 forward. While the Hawks certainly have more drafted players with some NHL potential these names are the most noticeable right now.

Preseason Analysis:
Hawks actually look like a decent team during the preseason. Offensively, Hawks might have one of the deepest teams in the league. However scoring goals was never a problem for the hawks last season. The problem was and still is defense. The preseason showed that the defense is still a mess.

Line Grades:
(Obviously there will be moves and scratches but based on the practice lines, these seem to be the common line pairings)

Defense:
Projected first pairing of Keith and Gustafsson
Keith is still a reliable 2-way defender who is able to play top four minutes shutting down opposing teams top players, but obviously his age is catching up to him. His partner (Erik Gustafsson) has been absolutely dominant offensively but still leaves much to be desired defensively.
Offensive ability grade: A-
Defensive ability grade: B

Projected Second Pairing of Maatta and Seabrook
Yikes! It is safe to say that Seabs is very much past his prime and is hurting the Hawks more than helping both in terms of performance and salary. His lack of speed is the number 1 concern. He can’t keep up with these young speedsters going forwards or backwards. It’s time for Seabs to become the 7th defenseman and allow for the younger talent to take over. Why he is paired with another very slow defender is beside me.

Maatta is a mess of a player. Yes he is young and yes he had some success with Pittsburgh but being he is one of the slowest defenders in the league Maatta needs to find the type of defender he wants to be. His first season he looked like a 2-way defender with good offensive skills. Then he was a stay at home type player. Maatta is not a good skater and has zero speed. Positionally he is responsible but getting into position is the bigger problem.
Offensive ability grade: C+
Defensive ability grade: B-

While being overpaid, the best true defenseman on the hawks may be De Haan. He is a shutdown defenseman who can keep up with the high pace of the NHL.

Murphy was supposed to take over Hjalmarsson’s role as the stay at home/shutdown defender who can be put out on the ice in any situation without concern. Due to some injury setbacks, his development hasn’t gone as smoothly as expected but is defiantly trending in the right direction. Not to mention the super team friendly cap hit.
Offensive ability grade: C-
Defensive ability grade: B+

Offense:
First Line
Nylander-Toews-Kane
You can never go wrong putting Kane and Toews together. The question is who would fit best as a complementary winger. Nylander has defiantly not developed into the player he was projected be when Buffalo took him with the 8th overall pick. Hopefully playing alongside two franchise players will help the young prospect build some confidence and eventually find his groove. Nylander plays similar to a young Kane in the sense that he lacks urgency without the puck and that defensively he is just not helpful. Putting him on a line with one of the best two-way centers in the league will hopefully allow Nylander to play his game.
Offensive ability grade: A+
Defensive ability grade: B-

Second Line:
DeBrincat-Strome-Shaw
The other dynamic duo for the hawks defiantly showed some amazing chemistry last season and the hope is that it continues into this year. With Strome being a big playmaking center, DeBrincat being a pure sniper, and Shaw being an all around good player, this line could be the best pure offensive line for the hawks. Shaw can play center or wing and fears no one. While being under 6 foot, Shaw plays like he is 6’5’’, planting himself in front of the net and disrupting play at both ends of the ice. Strome struggled at the face-off dot last season so don’t be surprise if you see Shaw taking face-offs yet moving to a wing position once the puck is dropped.
Offensive ability grade: A
Defensive ability grade: C

Third Line:
Saad-Kampf-Kubalik
The do it all line. Saad is obviously a great two-way player who can be put out in any situation without concern. Offensively he can put up 20+ goals and defensively he can do it all. The Swiss army knife of a player has defiantly has his fair share of struggles since returning to the Hawks but looks to have cemented himself as a high end top nine player. In my opinion, Kampf is simply centering Dach’s future line. Kampf is the new and improved Kruger. Winning face-offs and killing penalties. Offensively anything more than 20 points would be surprising. Kubalik looked very comfortable during the preseason as a natural goal scorer. He has a blazing one-timer. The offensive player of the line, look for him to lead the line in points.
Offensive ability grade: B
Defensive ability grade: B


Fourth Line:
Caggiula-Carpenter-Smith
Obviously you don’t look for your fourth line to produce points however this trio could easily be a third line. Caggiula has the potential to be a 30 point producer but will defiantly be used more in a shutdown role. Carpenter is a great and inexpensive addition to the hawks lineup. Able to play a very good transitional game excelling in the defensive zone. Smith will lead the team in penalty minutes. He is a scrappy enforcer type player who can put up some points but will defiantly be more focused on putting a player through the boards than putting a puck through the net.
Offensive ability grade: C
Defensive ability grade: C


Top 10 Prospects:
1. Adam Boqvist- Elite number 1 offensive defenseman

2. Kirby Dach- Top six power/playmaking center

3. Alexander Nylander- Top six playmaking wing

4. Nicolas Beaudin- Top four 2-way defenseman

5. Chad Krys- Top four 2-way defenseman

6. Ian Mitchell- Top four offensive defenseman

7. Evan Barratt- Top six/top nine 2-way center

8. Alex Vlasic- Top four defensive defenseman

9. Antti Saarela- Top nine 2-way forward

10. Philipp Kurashev- top nine/bottom six 2-way forward
DRAFT YEARROUND 1ROUND 2ROUND 3ROUND 4ROUND 5ROUND 6ROUND 7
2020
CHI
CHI
CHI
CHI
CHI
2021
CHI
CHI
CHI
CHI
CHI
CHI
MTL
2022
CHI
CHI
CHI
CHI
CHI
CHI
CHI
ROSTER SIZESALARY CAPCAP HITOVERAGES BONUSESCAP SPACE
23$81,500,000$80,825,919$0$4,207,500$674,081
Left WingCenterRight Wing
CHI
Nylander, Alexander
$863,333
RW, LW
RFA - 2
CHI
Toews, Jonathan
$10,500,000
C
NMC
UFA - 4
CHI
Kane, Patrick
$10,500,000
RW, C
NMC
UFA - 4
CHI
DeBrincat, Alex
$778,333
LW, RW
RFA - 1
CHI
Strome, Dylan
$863,333
C
RFA - 1
CHI
Shaw, Andrew
$3,900,000
C, RW
UFA - 3
CHI
Kubalik, Dominik
$925,000
LW
RFA - 1
CHI
Kämpf, David
$1,000,000
C, RW
RFA - 2
CHI
Saad, Brandon
$6,000,000
RW, LW
UFA - 2
CHI
Smith, Zack
$3,250,000
LW, C
NTC
UFA - 2
CHI
Carpenter, Ryan
$1,000,000
RW, C
UFA - 3
CHI
Caggiula, Drake
$1,500,000
LW, C, RW
RFA - 1
Left DefenseRight DefenseGoaltender
CHI
Keith, Duncan
$5,538,462
LD
NMC
UFA - 4
CHI
Gustafsson, Erik
$1,200,000
LD
UFA - 1
CHI
Crawford, Corey
$6,000,000
G
NMC NTC
UFA - 1
CHI
Määttä, Olli
$4,083,333
LD
UFA - 3
CHI
Seabrook, Brent
$6,875,000
RD
NMC
UFA - 5
CHI
Lehner, Robin
$5,000,000
G
UFA - 1
CHI
De Haan, Calvin
$4,550,000
LD
UFA - 3
CHI
Murphy, Connor
$3,850,000
RD
UFA - 3
ScratchesInjured Reserve (IR)Long Term IR (LTIR)
CHI
Koekkoek, Slater
$925,000
LD
RFA - 1
CHI
Dahlström, Carl
$850,000
LD
RFA - 2
CHI
Perlini, Brendan
$874,125
RW, LW
RFA - 1

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Sep 24 at 1:11
#1
exo2769
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4,926
Likes: 1,201
Great analysis. The one thing I'd mention though is that while your description reads that the 4th line isn't asked to do what the 1st line does...it appears the grades reflect that. I'm honestly not sure what the answer is supposed to be, but shouldn't an A, B, or C be determined on what they're being asked to do? A 4th line with (2) C's? Maybe the are a middle of the pack 4th line. I tend to think that as far as 4th lines go...it's pretty darn good. Drake played a #1LW last year. Smith played a #3 LW last year. Carpenter was a #4 RW last year. So, it's possible that 4th line does everything it's asked...to which I'd grade them higher...and still not score much at all.

Overall great analysis though. I'd personally like to see Nylander spend time in Rockford first because I haven't been that impressed with him. At least not as impressed as I am with Antti Saarela. While we're on the topic of prospect rankings...I'd switch a bunch of those around. Chad Krys is a nice guy, but he probably doesn't make my top 10. Ian Mitchell should be ahead of Nylander IMO. Kurashev should also be ahead of Nylander and Chad Krys IMO.
ChiHawk liked this.
Sep 24 at 1:35
#2
Thread Starter
44 Foundation
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 692
Likes: 69
Quoting: exo2769
Great analysis. The one thing I'd mention though is that while your description reads that the 4th line isn't asked to do what the 1st line does...it appears the grades reflect that. I'm honestly not sure what the answer is supposed to be, but shouldn't an A, B, or C be determined on what they're being asked to do? A 4th line with (2) C's? Maybe the are a middle of the pack 4th line. I tend to think that as far as 4th lines go...it's pretty darn good. Drake played a #1LW last year. Smith played a #3 LW last year. Carpenter was a #4 RW last year. So, it's possible that 4th line does everything it's asked...to which I'd grade them higher...and still not score much at all.

Overall great analysis though. I'd personally like to see Nylander spend time in Rockford first because I haven't been that impressed with him. At least not as impressed as I am with Antti Saarela. While we're on the topic of prospect rankings...I'd switch a bunch of those around. Chad Krys is a nice guy, but he probably doesn't make my top 10. Ian Mitchell should be ahead of Nylander IMO. Kurashev should also be ahead of Nylander and Chad Krys IMO.


The rankings are based on potential and league performance. Nylander is the only player to have any professional experience and put up some good points. Nylander has shown that he has the skill set to be a good NHL player it is just having him use the skills consistently. Mitchell did perform well in the WJC but saw a decrease in points last season. The fact that he chose to stay and play college concerns me especially when he has shown that he can excel at that level. The transition from college to pro is very difficult especially for defenseman and starting sooner rather than later is always better. Krys is a poor mans Boqvist. They play very similar styles but Krys is a little more defensively responsible. Kurashev is going to be a hit or miss. He showed he has the tools to be a great two way player. The best way to understand Kurashev is to compare him to Andreas Athanasiou of the Detroit Red Wings. I feel that Kurashev will follow a similar path.
ChiHawk and exo2769 liked this.
Sep 24 at 3:51
#3
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 6,038
Likes: 1,246
Really well done analysis...thank you for that!

A couple things...

1) Seabs and Maatta will be moved to a 3rd line role and Murphy and De Haan will be moved to the 2nd line role. I think this is a better fit against the competitive lines they will be paired against.

2) Kurashev should be ranked in the middle top 10, he is going to be the next Saad I'm predicting which is the swiss army knife forward that every team should have. He is one of the most impressive Hawks prospects. Krys, although close to, shouldn't be a top 10 prospect at this point. Mitchell is definitely a better player. Barratt is another one to keep the eyes on...future 3C.
exo2769 liked this.
Sep 24 at 8:25
#4
Hawks Fan
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 184
Likes: 40
Where is Anton Wedin in this conversation? I’ve been impressed with him during camp.
Sep 24 at 9:42
#5
Thread Starter
44 Foundation
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 692
Likes: 69
Quoting: Jco5ta5
Where is Anton Wedin in this conversation? I’ve been impressed with him during camp.


Wouldn't really consider him a prospect considering he's 26 years old and isn't likely to develop much more
 
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