The excitement around the Chicago Blackhawks is high this season. That is what happens when you win the NHL Draft Lottery and take hockey phenom Connor Bedard with the No. 1 overall pick.
Let’s get back to this season. A year where the Hawks will most likely miss the playoffs but will be fun to watch. It beats what we saw last season.
That was a season where the goal was to lose as many games as possible to increase the odds of drafting Bedard. It was also an unofficial farewell tour to franchise legends Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
This will be the first time since the 2006-07 season that the Chicago Blackhawks will take the ice without Kane and Toews.
The Chicago Blackhawks are going to look a bit different in 2023-24.
Normally the season after two icons exit a franchise, it is going to be a rough watch. Well, these are the seven storylines that should make this year so fun:
1. Connor Bedard adjusting to the NHL game
Bedard proved in the preseason that he should live up to the hype. His shot, skating, and puck handling are phenomenal.
The anticipation for his debut is on the same level as when Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby first took NHL ice.
It would be a huge disappointment if he does not win the Calder Trophy. Some of the tricks he pulled off in the WHL are not going to work in the pros. Still, he is going to be exciting to watch even if some of the moves he makes do not end up with a goal.
A fair expectation for his final point totals should be somewhere between 50-70. One reason is while the talent was upgraded in the offseason, it is still not at the level where Bedard can rack up a ton of assists.
Especially since the club is having Lukas Reichel play center, those two will not be skating on the same line.