The Chicago blackhawks are trading their future to build the future

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The Chicago Blackhawks look like they have a plan, but no one seems to quite understand what exactly that plan is. The Blackhawks got busy on draft day, making multiple questionable trades. The Blackhawks certainly did not have a good year, they went 28-42-12, finishing 7th in the Central Division only in front of the Arizona (ASU) Coyotes. It is clear that it’s time for a rebuild for the Blackhawks, which we would assume means trading away veterans for some younger prospects or draft picks, well, that’s not what the Blackhawks decided to do.

The Blackhawks decided to surprisingly not start by trading away veteran players like Patrick Kane, who is 33 years old, and Jonathan Toews, who is 34 years old. The chances that those two want to be part of a Blackhawks rebuild is likely very low, which makes it interesting they weren’t the first to go, even if they eventually do go.

Creator: James Guillory | Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Copyright: James Guillory

Rebuilding the Rebuild

Here is where things get confusing, the Blackhawks have started to trade away THEIR YOUNG PLAYERS. In a rebuild, where they are trying to build a young core, they are trading away their young players, and NOT EVEN FOR FULL VALUE. It’s certainly shocking to see what the Blackhawks management is doing, but for some reason they are trading young developing players for just draft picks.

DeBrincat trade

The Chicago Blackhawks traded forward Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators for a 2022 first round pick, a 2022 second round pick, and a 2024 third round pick. DeBrincat, 24, had 41 goals and 78 total points in 82 games this season, his second career 40 goals season in only 5 years. DeBrincat is certainly worth more than those 3 picks considering he is only 24 years old and already has over 300 career points. Blackhawks fans have to be furious over this trade, because not only are they trading away a YOUNG star player, they traded him away at a much lower value than they should have.

“It was an incredibly difficult decision to trade a player of Alex’s caliber. We feel as if this move sets the Blackhawks up for future success by giving us additional flexibility and future talent.”

kyle davidson, blackhawks general manager

An interesting statement to say the least.

Kirby Dach Trade

The Chicago Blackhawks made another trade yesterday, trading 21 year old former No. 3 Overall pick, Kirby Dach to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2022 first round pick (13th overall) and a 2022 third round pick. I mean wow, they trade away another young player who they drafted THIRD OVERALL not too long ago. Only age 21, the 6 foot 4 center hasn’t had a great start to his career, but he certainly has a ton of time to figure it out. Dach had 26 points in 70 games this season. Dach has faced some injury issue in his time with Chicago, and even though his performances in Chicago have been below expectations, it’s another surprise move to trade a 21 year old first rounder as a rebuilding team. This trade was more fair in value as compared to the DeBrincat trade, but at this points the Blackhawks might as well trade anyone above 25 if they are going to stockpile draft picks and build for prospects that likely won’t be playing in the NHL just yet this season.

Brandon Hagel Trade

Back in March of this year (2022), the Blackhawks traded away 23 year old winger Brandon Hagel and two fourth-round picks (one in 2022, one in 2024) to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Boris Katchouk (24 years old) and Taylor Raddysh (24 years old) as well as conditional first round picks in 2023 and 2024. The first round picks are also top 10 protected. Hagel had 37 points in 55 games with the Blackhawks this season, but struggled in Tampa Bay, putting up only 7 points in 22 regular season games, and 6 points in 23 playoff games. Boris Katchouk, acquired by the Blackhawks, only has 7 points in 59 NHL games, while Taylor Raddysh has 22 points in 74 NHL games. According to NHL.com “The conditions surrounding Tampa Bay’s protected first-round picks are as follows: Should the 2023 first-round pick be in the top 10, the Lightning will instead transfer their own, unprotected first-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft to the Blackhawks. In the event both of the Lightning’s 2023 and 2024 picks are in the top 10, then Tampa Bay will transfer its unprotected first-round picks in the 2025 draft and the 2026 NHL Draft to Chicago.” These are the conditions of the picks. Not a bad trade from Chicago to get 2 young players and 2 first rounders, but again trading away good young players in order to get picks for more young players (that may not even become NHL players) is an interesting strategy.

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Mrazek trade

This is a true rebuild trade. The Blackhawks acquired Goaltender Petr Mrazek and a 2022 first round pick (no. 25) in exchange for a 2022 second round pick. The Blackhawks took on Mrazek’s bad contract and were rewarded with a first round pick, moving up from pick 38 (the second round pick they traded) up to pick 25.

Free agency

The Blackhawks have two young players, Dylan Strome (25) and Dominik Kubalik (26) who it seems like the Blackhawks are going to let walk in free agency. Strome had 48 points in 69 games this season, while Kubalik had 32 points in 78 games. Both these players are RFAs, meaning that the Blackhawks have the rights to the players and can trade them away OR get compensation if another team signs them. There haven’t been any reports of the Blackhawks offering them new deals, but this is just 2 more young players that might end up leaving the Blackhawks.

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To add onto the flame, the pick they got for trading away DeBrincat was actually a spot behind the pick they would of had, if they didn’t trade for Seth Jones a while back, which was also a terrible trade considering where the Blackhawks are now.

In the end, no one really understands why the Blackhawks are trading away their young talent during a rebuild.

We need assets, we need young assets and we need to build up that prospect base.

blackhawks gm – davidson

The Blackhawks essentially HAD a base of young assets, before they just traded it all away. DeBrincat is a star, Dach is still very young with good potential, Hagel was good but they got a decent return, Strome and Kubalik’s situations are still up in the air, but I would not be surprised if they also are dealt away from the Blackhawks. We will see in the long run how this pans out for the Blackhawks, rebuilds certainly aren’t quick, especially if your main focus is building up a huge prospect pool and tanking the team. Their next move should be trading away their veteran stars, probably for more picks.

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