5 Players Chicago Blackhawks Should Build Around In 2014-15

5 Players Chicago Blackhawks Should Build Around In 2014-15

Chicago Blackhawks 5 Players to Build Around
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When the 2014-15 seasons begins, the Chicago Blackhawks will be looking to win their third Stanley Cup in six years and avenge this postseason's loss to the Los Angeles Kings. The team will be up tight against the salary cap for the foreseeable future, and should focus on building around these five players.

5. Corey Crawford

Corey Crawford
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5. Corey Crawford

Corey Crawford
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Corey Crawford was Chicago's most deserving candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2013, and Patrick Kane, who won the award, said several times that No. 50 deserved it instead. Crawford has been an excellent playoff goaltender for Chicago, and far too many people are down on him after a tough series against the Kings. He should and will be a key part of the Blackhawks' future.

4. Brandon Saad

Brandon Saad
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4. Brandon Saad

Brandon Saad
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Brandon Saad exploded onto the scene during the series against Los Angeles, especially during the last three games. He and Kane were dominant together and will drive Chicago's second line for years to come. Saad's speed and unparalleled superiority on zone entries are huge for Chicago. If he can harness his potential as he did late in the L.A. series, we can forget the "Marian Hossa-lite" comparisons. He may turn out to be just as good as No. 81.

3. Niklas Hjalmarsson

Niklas Hjalmarsson
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3. Niklas Hjalmarsson

Niklas Hjalmarsson
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Niklas Hjalmarsson is one of the most unheralded defensive defensemen in the NHL. His $ 4.1 million annual cap hit is a steal. Hjalmarsson would have easily captured upwards of $ 5.5 million per year on the open market. With Joel Quenneville wanting to conserve Duncan Keith for the playoffs, the tough assignments will continue to go to Hjalmarsson. He is one of the most important players on Chicago's roster going forward.

2. Patrick Kane

Patrick Kane
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2. Patrick Kane

Patrick Kane
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Michal Handzus and a lower-body injury did their best to keep Kane from a 90-plus point season in 2013-14, but Kane betters himself every year thanks to one of the league's more underrated work ethics. His playoff contributions are well documented. Chicago will probably be in the Stanley Cup Final once again relatively soon, and it will be Kane, as well as the man who is first on this list, leading the way.

1. Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews
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1. Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews
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Jonathan Toews is the Blackhawks' best center at both ends of the ice, and has by far the most responsibility of any Chicago forward. He is relied on to shut down the opposing team's best offensive players while also being expected to produce himself. Toews is the key cog in the Blackhawks' puck possession scheme, being one of the NHL's preeminent two-way forwards. He is the biggest piece to the Chicago Blackhawks' future puzzle.

Sean Sarcu is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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