The Chicago Blackhawks kicked off a new era with a victory. The Hawks rallied from being down 2-0 to win the first game of the season by two goals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
There is no better way to start a new chapter in the franchise with a win.
Gone are franchise icons Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. The face of the organization is now 18-year-old phenom Connor Bedard. It is just one game.
The Chicago Blackhawks are still rebuilding. It is a roster that is better from last year, but it is still a team that is not likely to make the playoffs.
This is a transition year. That means youth will be served and veterans will be flipped at the trade deadline for more draft capital or prospects.
There are six Chicago Blackhawks players on the active roster you should watch closely.
Bedard showed he is capable of living up to the hype. The No. 1 overall pick did not score a goal but he registered an assist in his first official NHL game. Bedard showcased why everyone thinks he is going to be the next big thing in the NHL.
Bedard also has some work to do if he is to win a Hart trophy someday. Sidney Crosby took his lunch money in the face-off circle.
Bedard also must get better at entering the offensive zone at the NHL level. He tried a few times to dump the punk in and use his incredible speed to get past the defender. That worked in the juniors but NHL defensemen know how to knock a skater off track or at least better at getting in the way.
Although, Bedard showed he can learn quickly as later in the game he just took the puck and charged into the zone.
He also needs to get stronger. Bedard already has immense lower-body strength, but he looked like a kid out there with his slight frame. That is not meant to be a knock. He just became a legal adult in this country.
Bedard is on the smallish side, so he will need to develop his body much like Patrick Kane needed to in the early stages of his career.
He is appointment television and a big reason to tune into Chicago Blackhawks games this year. The hype makes you think he is the only player worthy of your attention when there are still five more players you should keep a close eye on.