For a decade-plus, the Chicago Blackhawks stood as the symbol of prolonged success in the NHL. Their roster hosted future hall-of-famers and that group won the 2010, 2013, and 2015 Stanley Cups as a result.
Father time is undefeated, though, and the organization has seen its standing in the NHL plummet in recent years. Eventually, they committed to a long-term rebuild, one that’s seen the organization move on from Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Patrick Kane in the span of two years.
That left the team without a figurehead this spring. For about a minute. Then the draft lottery gifted them the first overall pick and a generational talent. As the old adage goes, to those who have, more will be given.
The gift of Connor Bedard, the sport’s greatest prospect since Connor McDavid, could once again put the franchise back on track to success. Maybe not immediately, but assuredly over the next several seasons. Bedard could become the team’s next driving force, lifting it more and more up the standings each passing year, as he improves and figures out the NHL.
But the pressure to get the Blackhawks back to the promised land won’t fall entirely on his shoulders. The team has been drafting well over the past couple of seasons, adding talent and a lot of speed to their pool. The organization is building a dynamic lineup that could boast one of the most threatening rush offences in the league in a few years.