Advertisement

Who could be Blackhawks' 2024 NHL All-Star Game replacement for Connor Bedard?

Who could be Blackhawks' 2024 NHL All-Star Game replacement for Connor Bedard? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Blackhawks announced that rookie forward Connor Bedard underwent successful surgery on Monday to repair his fractured jaw. He is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.

That means Bedard won't be able to play in the 2024 NHL All-Star Game on Feb. 3 in Toronto. He would have been the youngest player in league history to participate in the event.

Because each NHL team needs a representative, the Blackhawks will have to find a replacement for Bedard. Here are four potential options:

Jason Dickinson

Dickinson is having a career season with the Blackhawks. He ranks first on the team in faceoff wins (280), second in goals (14), and third in points (21). He's on pace for 28 goals, which would shatter his previous career-high of nine, a mark he's already blown past this season.

The Blackhawks have a +10 goal differential when Dickinson has been on the ice during 5-on-5 action, per Natural Stat Trick. Every other forward on the team with at least 15 games played has a negative differential. Dickinson should be the front-runner to be Chicago's representative.

Philipp Kurashev

Kurashev is having a breakout season offensively. He ranks second on the team in assists (15) and points (23) and is tied for fourth in goals (8). He's on pace to finish with 18 goals, 33 assists and 51 points, which would be career-highs in all three scoring categories. Only Bedard (19:04) is averaging more minutes per game among team forwards than Kurashev (18:57).

Petr Mrazek

The numbers don't tell the full story this season for Mrazek, who's 10-14-1 with a 3.21 goals-against average, .902 save percentage and one shutout. Every night, Mrazek gives the Blackhawks a chance to win, and he's rarely the reason they lose. You could argue he's been the team MVP so far. He's at least in the conversation.

Alex Vlasic

This wouldn't be a sexy pick, but Vlasic has been Chicago's most consistent defenseman when he's in the lineup. He has one goal, nine assists and 10 points through 35 games this season, and ranks second on the team in ice time average (20:33).

More notably, the Blackhawks have a +10 goal differential during 5-on-5 action when he's on the ice. When he's not on the ice — or when he's been out of the lineup — the Blackhawks have a -41 differential. Vlasic has been excellent, and he's becoming much more than just a stay-at-home defenseman.

Click here to follow the Blackhawks Talk Podcast.