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2024 Blackhawks Bottom Line

Blackhawks Bottom Line: Alex Vlasic Could Be A Top 2 Pairing

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Over the course of the next month, Chicago Hockey Now will be profiling every Chicago Blackhawks player from the 2023-24 season. Today, will be defenseman Alex Vlasic.

Alex Vlasic
Defense
Games Played: 76
(Goals – Assists – Points): 2-14-16
Contract Status: Six-Year Deal; $4.6M AAV

The Short View

Alex Vlasic is the poster child for why general managers, and coaches talk about the importance of drafting and developing. No, it doesn’t always work. But man, when it does, the payoff is immense.

A second-round pick in 2019, the Blackhawks took their time with Vlasic and used a crucial 56 games in Rockford last season to allow Vlasic to develop his game. That experience saw him play important minutes and the ability to learn the game at his pace for a future in the NHL.

It not only worked, but from the looks of it, Vlasic could very well be a top four defenseman for a rebuilding team seeking “identity pieces.”

The Long View

Vlasic was one of Chicago’s best defenseman, if not their best defenseman in 2023-24. His ability to succeed was in large part to his pairing with Seth Jones, which helped Vlasic grow and have the peace of mind knowing that a defenseman of Jones’ stature was on his right side.

Vlasic, though, held his own, too.

“Vlasy, playing with him all year, [he took] tremendous steps,” Jones said. “I played with [Zach] Werenski when he was 21 and they’re different players but you see teh same stuff that you’re seeing there. Vlasy is going to be a heck of a defenseman and I had a lot of fun playing with him this season.”

He also embodies the culture the Blackhawks are building, the “identity pieces” Jones spoke of who put the team over the individual.

“I’d like to think of myself as a pretty team-first guy,” Vlasic said.  “I think that’s always big. You want guys on your team that are going to do things for you and that’s what I want to do for other guys, whether it’s sticking up for somebody in a game or even just taking a hit to make a play, kind of unselfish plays.  I think that’s something I can bring to the team and I look for that in teammates as well.”

It’s also what factored into the six-year extension he signed–beyond just his performance.

The Bottom Line for Alex Vlasic

Vlasic not only looks like a major hit for the Blackhawks development work, but also as a foundational player who will get the Blackhawks back to contention. Every great team needs their blue line corps to be strong, and Vlasic is one of several anchors the Blackhawks should be able to count on for years to come.

So the six-year contract is more than just a way for the Blackhawks to save on what was a bargain. It’s a vote of confidence–one where the front office and coaching staff see a legitimate top four defenseman who will be a major solution to what vexes many teams trying to find contention–a legitimate blue line presence.

Vlasic is that and more–while looking to be a fixture on the Blackhawks blue line for a long time.

Previous Blackhawks Bottom Line Entries

Seth Jones | Connor Murphy | Ryan Donato | Taylor Raddysh | Joey Anderson Jason Dickinson | Nick Foligno | Nikita Zaitsev | Philipp Kurashev | Jaycob Megna | Jarred Tinordi | Lukas Reichel | Petr Mrazek | Ethan Del Mastro | Arvid Soderblom | Colin Blackwell | Reese Johnson | Kevin Korchinski | Mackenzie Entwistle |

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