Should the Hawks Make a Play for Blackwood?

Published May 21, 2023 at 11:07 PM

It wasn't long ago that 25-year-old goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood was considered the next big thing. He was the top-rated netminder out of North America in the 2015 NHL Draft and many thought he could be a potential late first-round pick. He lasted until the New Jersey Devils took him at pick 42 of the second round.

Blackwood's first 70 NHL games were excellent from 2018-2020, with a 32-24-8 record and a .916 save percentage. He became the first Devils rookie goaltender to post back-to-back shutouts in December of 2018. He also became the youngest Devils goaltender to record multiple regular season shutouts, surpassing Martin Brodeur.

Injuries have complicated his current value, but the 6'4", 225 lb Blackwood is now looking back at two below-average seasons, with 2021-22 being the worst: an .892 SV% and a 3.39 goals against average.

It's the first two seasons that make him an interesting target because if he can return to that form, he could be an absolute steal. And with a heel injury keeping him out for a lot of this season, his value is likely at an all-time low.

At 25 and a very affordable cap hit next season as well ($2.8 million), Blackwood could be the solution in net the Hawks have been searching for. He has proven he can put up great numbers behind a sub-par defensive team and steal games in any of his four seasons in the league.

Chicago should at least check in with the Devils and see what their price tag is. If it's pretty low, go for him. If it's more than expected, there's really no point in bringing in a netminder who has a short-term injury history and is at a cap hit of almost $3 million.

May 21   |   182 answers
Should the Hawks Make a Play for Blackwood?

Should the Hawks trade for Blackwood?

Absolutely4926.9 %
Not worth it4424.2 %
Bring in a veteran and resign Lankinen8948.9 %
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