As we inch closer to the official start of NHL preseason, everyone has their eyes on the top prospects of their favorite teams. If you’re like me, then you’re wondering what the Blackhawks’ roster is going to look like heading into the new season. The Blackhawks have a few promising youngsters in their system right now and things are beginning to look up. One name to remember is Dylan Sikura.

Who Is Dylan Sikura?

Dylan Sikura is a playmaking forward with top-notch skating and offensive skills. Sikura was drafted in the 6th Round of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Blackhawks. Dating back to college, he has always been a hard worker. Scott Powers of The Athletic reported,

“AFTER BEING DRAFTED IN THE SIXTH ROUND BY THE BLACKHAWKS IN 2014, SIKURA EVOLVED FROM A HEALTHY SCRATCH AS A FRESHMAN AT NORTHEASTERN [UNIVERSITY] INTO ONE OF COLLEGE’S PREMIER PLAYERS AS AN UPPERCLASSMAN. WITH THAT, SIKURA HAS BEEN THOUGHT OF DIFFERENTLY. HE’S BEEN ASKED TO PLAY FOR TEAM CANADA AND BECAME A COVETED BLACKHAWKS PROSPECT.”

Dylan Sikura’s recent success in college caught the eyes of the NHLPA. They offered Sikura a spot in the 2018 NHLPA Rookie Showcase along with other budding stars and recent draft picks.

With persistence and dedication, Sikura has gone from a relatively unknown afterthought to an up-and-coming young gun with his eyes on the prize. The prize he’s currently gunning for is the Blackhawks’ 2018-19 regular season roster.

What Does Dylan Sikura Bring To The Table?

At this point in his career, Dylan Sikura is much better offensively than he is on defense. This is fine because many current stars in the NHL had this same shortcoming when they first entered the league. For instance, look at how far Patrick Kane has come in his NHL career. Kane worked hard on his defensive game and it is much more respectable nowadays. As long as Sikura stays on the track that he’s currently on, then I see a much more well-rounded game for him in the very near future.

If you’re more of the “I’ll believe it when I see it” type, then here is a highlight reel of what Dylan Sikura brings to the table every night. All of Sikura’s offensive weapons are on full display, as well as his defensive potential, where he lifts the opponent’s stick and takes a breakaway to the house for a score.

Although Sikura doesn’t have much of an NHL resume yet, he does have a 5 game sample size from the end of last season where he did produce 3 points (3A) and had a 2 +/- rating.

Dylan Sikura 2017-18 NHL stats
Table provided by Puckpedia.com

Sikura also finished his collegiate career on a good note with 54 points (22G, 32A) in 35 games. He also displayed some leadership qualities and wore the ‘A’ at Northeastern University. This could prove invaluable next season when he gets his shot to prove he’s the real deal on the biggest stage with the Blackhawks.

Table provided by PuckPedia.com

Where Does Dylan Sikura Fit On The Current NHL Roster?

Dylan Sikura will be a much-needed boost to the Blackhawks’ offensive production. Since he is a rookie this year, it would be in everyone’s best interest to not overwhelm him right off the bat. Since Sikura is a smaller player at 5’11” 180 pounds, he will need some bigger linemates to bail him out in board battles and create a net-front presence. As far as line pairings go, I have a few suggestions that may work.

Ejdsell-Anisimov-Sikura

Ejdsell-Schmaltz-Sikura

DeBrincat-Anisimov-Sikura

One good thing about this upcoming season is that there will be countless line pairings and we’ll get to see if there is any type of team chemistry to build upon. It’s hard to determine how long it will take for any kind of chemistry to develop, but there will at least be an interesting mix of veterans and youth. An injection of youth could end up revitalizing some of the core guys and spark a much needed bounce-back season for the Blackhawks.

2018 NHL Preseason

The start of preseason is just a few weeks away. This will be our first chance to see how our Blackhawks will stack up for this upcoming season.

I’m ready to move past the disaster that was the 2017-18 season and I am sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. What better way to do this than to start fresh with a brand new season?

For more Blackhawks news and updates, follow the author @Certified_TonyG on Twitter.