May 26, 2024

A former first-round pick (29th overall in 2013 by the Dallas Stars), Jason Dickinson, faced cap constraints and was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks on October 7, 2022. Initially seen as a cap casualty due to his $2.65 million annual contract with the Vancouver Canucks, he has now reclaimed his value in the NHL. After being traded, Dickinson, known for his leadership and consistent performance, has become a key player for the Blackhawks, even earning the alternate captain role.

In 2021, Dickinson signed a three-year, $7.95 million deal with the Canucks, prompting his trade to the Blackhawks with a second-round pick in the 2024 draft. Despite the potential to fetch another second-round pick as a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the deadline, there’s a strong argument against trading him. The 28-year-old forward’s on-ice production, leadership qualities, and reliability make him an invaluable asset to the team, especially in the midst of Chicago’s rebuild.

Jason Dickinson's analysis of Blackhawks trades suggest future as a general  manager - Chicago Sun-Times

Dickinson’s current season pace projects to a career-high 38 points (10 goals) in 32 games. Considering the uncertain outcome of a mid-range second-round draft pick, the Blackhawks, who already possess 14 top-two round picks in the next three drafts, should prioritize retaining Dickinson. As the team evolves with younger players, having a veteran like him helps stabilize the locker room and provides a professional example for the emerging talent.

With ample cap space and popularity in the locker room, the recommendation is for the Blackhawks to prioritize re-signing Dickinson. While acknowledging his role as a reliable two-way third-line center with penalty kill experience and untapped offensive potential, it’s suggested that a reasonable upgrade in his contract, perhaps a three-year, $3 million per year deal, would benefit both parties. This would secure Dickinson’s presence in Chicago until he’s 31, allowing for a reassessment of his value at the 2027 trade deadline. Until then, the consensus is that he should remain an integral part of the team’s future plans.

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