Monday, April 22, 2024

Which Blackhawk Will Replace Bedard At NHL All-Star Game?

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Let’s face it – Connor Bedard is the Blackhawks’ only true star player. While others like Philipp Kurashev and Lukas Reichel (depending on who you ask) certainly show promise, the Blackhawks offense is lackluster without the superstar rookie, to say the least. There certainly isn’t anyone on the healthy roster who would be considered an “All-Star” by the NHL’s standards.

But with Bedard expected to miss six to eight weeks with the fractured jaw he suffered Friday night, his new recovery timeline means he’s practically guaranteed to miss the NHL All-Star Game, set to take place Saturday, February 3. It’s a tough break for the talented rookie, as he was set to become the youngest player in NHL history to play in the game. But with the league’s unique All-Star Game nomination rules, in which at least one player is chosen from each team, the Blackhawks will have to name Bedard’s replacement in the coming days. Three Blackhawks have proven themselves worthy of the honor, even if they wouldn’t be if Bedard were healthy.

Jason Dickinson

In a year where the Blackhawks have struggled to put pucks in the net, Jason Dickinson has been a mainstay as one of the team’s best offensive skaters. He scored his 14th goal of the year Tuesday night, his career high. Only one goal behind Bedard, Dickinson has been a pleasant surprise and at times Chicago’s best skater. He’s also a force on the defensive end, often matched up against the opposing team’s top skater – players like Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon. While Dickinson has been a solid player throughout a fairly illustrious career, he’s never had the opportunity to make it to an All-Star Game. Bedard’s injury could be just the springboard he needs to get there.

Philipp Kurashev

Besides Bedard, Kurashev is likely Chicago’s most talented offensive skater and would be the best choice to represent his team from a skill standpoint. Kurashev ranks second in points on the team. While his surprising success is mostly a result of being on the same line as Bedard for much of the season, Kurashev has proven all year why he belongs on this team as part of its long-term future. After a questionable summer where Kurashev and the Blackhawks needed arbitration to settle on a new contract, the 24-year-old certainly has a case to make his first All-Star Game

Petr Mrazek

While Mrazek is certainly a long shot to receive Chicago’s All-Star nomination, he’s been one of the most underrated and valuable players on the team all season. The Blackhawks’ defensive unit is still trying to find a steady combination of players that works, and as a result, Mrazek hasn’t gotten much help in front of him. Nevertheless, the veteran goaltender is keeping his team in a lot of games that they shouldn’t be and has put together a pretty impressive season given the circumstances. His .902 save percentage is better than that of some of the goalies that made the All-Star team, and his impressive career revitalization is reason enough for Mrazek to at least deserve some consideration for his first All-Star Game appearance.

While Bedard is the clear star of the Blackhawks, a few other players could make their first All-Star appearance in his absence. They’re certainly not superstars or faces of the league, but Dickinson, Kurashev, and Mrazek have all played well enough this year to at least earn consideration for the prestigious honor.

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TeganDevan
TeganDevan
Jan 10, 2024 3:49 pm

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Last edited 3 months ago by TeganDevan
TeganDevan
TeganDevan
Jan 10, 2024 3:49 pm

While Bedard is the clear star of the Blackhawks, a few other players could make their first All-Star appearance in his absence. They’re certainly not superstars or faces of the league, but Dickinson, Kurashev, and Mrazek have all played well enough this year to at least earn consideration for the prestigious honor.

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