After a quick course correction, the Blackhawks move forward with some top-flight youth who are growing in real-time in Chicago.
Barzal. Connor. Svechnikov.
Pettersson. Yamamoto. Stuetzle.
The youth movement progressing strong in Chi-Town.
At the mid-point of the pre-season, GM Dan Bacon swerved to a youth-oriented team building plan that was not expected by league-wide pundits.
Bacon is known for having his teams in the running for Cup contention, not near the bottom of the league racking up youth. But that is where the team seemed to be headed when Bacon sold off the likes of Max Pacioretty, Anthony Mantha, Eric Staal, Patrik Nemeth, Brandon Tanev and Travis Hamonic.
Many BEARD Hockey experts questioned the path that the Hawks GM was taking.
However, here we are, about a month later, and Bacon has since added long term pieces such as Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor, and Andrei Svechnikov. That goes hand-in-hand with the young core that was already in place in Elias Pettersson, Kailer Yamamoto, Tim Stuetzle, Adam Fox, and Spencer Knight.
Players like Henri Jokiharju, Jonas Siegenthaler, Ryan Lindgren, and Casey Mittelstadt have also been added to be complementary pieces currently and in the future.
Armed with two first round picks in the next Entry Draft (their own and Carolina’s), Bacon also has the draft capital to add more pieces now or wait until the draft and add what should be a couple more quality kids into the pipeline.
The plan now appears to be becoming clearer in Chicago as Bacon is looking to be building a threat now and one that should grow into an incredible team for the long term. Chicago’s conference rivals have also begun to notice based on the chatter on the league media site. Player development will be the key to the future success (or lack thereof) for this youthful squad.
More moves are expected through this season as the core continues to evolve.