ESPN released their NHL Future Power Rankings
, analyzing projections for the 2018-19 season, and the Blackhawks came in strong with a first-place ranking in the Central Division and second overall.
The rankings take into account four criteria in order to determine future chances of success: roster, prospects, contracts/cap room and owner/coach/GM.
On a scale of 0-10, the Blackhawks received a 9.25 for owner/GM/coach, 8.75 for the roster, 5.25 for prospects and a 4.00 in the cap/contracts category, giving the team an overall weighted score of 7.02.
Tampa Bay ranked first in the league with a weighted total of 8.40, and the New York Islanders finished behind the Blackhawks with a score of 6.97.
Craig Custance of ESPN praised the leadership team of Head Coach Joel Quenneville, Chairman Rocky Wirtz and VP/GM Stan Bowman for their execution in building championship teams in the salary cap era as the Blackhawks roster ages and earns higher salaries.
Additionally, Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelley plays a major role in the continuing success of a team, overseeing the drafting of young stars like Teuvo Teravainen without the benefit of lottery picks.
If the past few years are any indication of the Blackhawks' success, the team will continue to climb the rankings and compete for more Stanley Cups in the years to come.
Click here to see the full list of Future Power Rankings.