The Chicago Blackhawks are on a roll this season, as they are one of the few teams in the league to have been a top-four seed in each of the past three seasons.
They’re also one of three teams in that group who were in the playoffs in each year from 2015-16 to 2017-2018.
And while Seo has seen a lot of improvement this season and is currently ranked the No. 1 goalie in the NHL by ESPN, he is not the same goalie that the rest of the NHL saw when he joined the Hawks in 2017.
During his first two years with the Hawks, Seo started off his NHL career at a high level.
In fact, he led all goaltenders in save percentage (.914), goals-against average (2.88), save percentage (1.89), shutouts (11) and save percentage differential (12).
However, Seom had a lot to prove in Chicago.
In his rookie season, he was the starter for just two games, and after that he only appeared in one more game, which ended up being a loss in the Western Conference semifinals.
As a result, Seobos career has been marred by injuries and the emergence of other goaltenders who would help fill the void.
In 2018-19, Seohas contract was up and he was not going to be able to play until 2019-20.
With Seo out, it appears that the Hawks have been able to get some of the young talent they had during the Seo era.
With the addition of former Blackhawks goaltender Michael Hutchinson, the Hawks were able to take a lot from Seo and put some of his veteran experience to good use.
After Hutchinson joined the team in 2018-2019, Seos first NHL season was not as successful as it was in the previous two seasons.
The Blackhawks went on to win the Stanley Cup in 2018 and the Presidents Trophy in 2019.
With Hutchinson, Seodos first year with the Blackhawks was not a success.
In addition to Seo, the Blackhawks lost a ton of the talent that was there from Seohos first two seasons in Chicago, including a number of key contributors in Patrick Kane, Kyle Okposo, Jonathan Toews and Artemi Panarin.
The Hawks also lost two of their top three goalies from last year’s team, as Jonas Hiller, Joonas Korpisalo and Jonas Siegenthaler were all traded away, which severely limited Seo’s ability to play.
Hutchinson has played well since joining the Hawks and Seo is finally being able to go back to his old form.
His .918 save percentage this season ranks third among NHL goaltenders.
And he has also made the playoffs twice in three seasons, with wins over the Bruins and Flyers in 2018.
The Blackhawks may not have Hutchinson in their lineup yet, but Seo should be able match up with the likes of Erik Haula and Sergei Bobrovsky, and they should be a dangerous team.
The biggest difference between Seo this season compared to last year was the addition, as Seo had the chance to be a key piece of the team this year.
However, he only played in 11 games, while Hutchinson played in 20.
That was a lot for a young goalie to be on the shelf for so long.
Hockey has changed, and the Blackhawks are one team that needs to adapt.
In the meantime, Seow will continue to improve and show his skills that he was capable of doing a year ago.