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Every Wednesday throughout the offseason, the CHGO Blackhawks crew will give their evaluations of the 2021-22 Blackhawks. We’ll be using our “feather system.” Four feathers = an A, three feathers = a B, and so on.
This week, we’re reviewing the seasons of the newest Blackhawks, Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh, both of whom were acquired in the Brandon Hagel trade.
Boris Katchouk Analysis
Jay Zawaski: Frankly, the production wasn’t there for Boris Katchouk after arriving in Chicago. He did, however, show some promising signs. He generated several breakaway chances, showed a willingness to finish checks, and did the little things needed to win. Cliche? Yes, but with such a limited sample size in a season that’s already lost, it’s hard to draw too many conclusions. As I said on the podcast, I think an eventual fourth line of Katchouk, Raddysh and Sam Lafferty could be ideal for a contender. It’s the rest of the lines the Blackhawks need to figure out.
Mario Tirabassi: There wasn’t too much to be really expected of Katchouk and Raddysh when they arrived in Chicago. For Katchouk, he brought a physical element to the team and created a number of memorable breakaway opportunities, but could never finish them. I think there’s more to see from him, and in a full season of work, we’ll be able to get a better understanding of who he is and can be as a player.
Greg Boysen: Katchouk, like Raddysh, is a former second-round pick by Steve Yzerman, so the talent is there. He was fine in his 21 games with the Blackhawks. He uses his size when and plays with an edge, something the team needed. He was a solid fourth line type forward and performed well on the penalty kill. He created some prime scoring chances but was only able to finish one of them. If Katchouk can start cashing in on those chances, he will become more valuable to this lineup.
Taylor Raddysh Analysis
Jay: I really liked what I saw from Raddysh, especially in his first handful of games with the Hawks. You could tell he was excited about the opportunity to have a bigger role than he had in Tampa. While he’s ideally a fourth liner on a contender, there is certainly room for offensive upside in his game, and he’ll get several chances to prove himself on the Blackhawks top six in the near future. I’m excited to see what’s next for Raddysh. I believe he will be the best of the trio of Raddysh, Katchouk and Lafferty.
Mario: Like Katchouk, Raddysh didn’t have many expectations when arriving with the Blackhawks, but unlike Katchouk, Raddysh made a sizable impact in his small stint with Chicago. I liked what I saw from him offensively and he seems like a young-ish forward with size and an ability to play up and down the lineup. His scoring touch was streaky, but it was there, and I think in a full season in Chicago will give us a better understanding of what he can be at the NHL level.
Greg: Raddysh showed that he can produce in an expanded role. He appears to be a guy that can move up and down the lineup. If he finds some consistency in his production, he can be a very effective player with size and speed. This upcoming season will be huge for him. He will likely be in a top-6 spot when the season begins. His performance can go a long way in determining if he is a potential depth player or a major contributor in the future. Raddysh is one of the players worth watching throughout a painful season.
Stay tuned to the CHGO Blackhawks Podcast for more player evaluations as the offseason grinds on.
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