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Jason Dickinson's value, potential price tag continues to grow with Blackhawks

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Jason Dickinson's value continued to grow on Friday despite the Chicago Blackhawks squandering a multi-goal lead in a 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Aside from scoring his 10th goal of the season, which is a new career-high, Dickinson logged the second-most ice time among team forwards on a penalty kill that went 3-for-3 and also led the team in faceoff win percentage at 52.9 after going 9-for-17. He won eight of 11 draws through two periods.

With the goal, Dickinson is now on pace for 26 this season. He could also hit the 40-point mark for the first time in his career if he continues on this path.

"I’ve been trying to think more offensive," Dickinson said. "So maybe I am subconsciously thinking about it a little bit more, how to attack a little bit better. But I don’t want to let my D side of the game slide. So that’s always Priority 1."

Dickinson came an inch or two away from scoring a second goal in the middle frame but he hit the inside of the post.

"He easily could have had two goals tonight," Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said.

The Blackhawks knew Dickinson was a strong penalty killer and reliable in the faceoff department. Him adding some offense to his game makes him far more well-rounded.

"He's really all working on his faceoffs, especially the D-zone, but it helps the penalty kill when we win faceoffs and clear pucks down," Richardson said. "It's kind of a complete game. He's reliable defensively in all situations. And offensively he’s starting to produce.

"Because they play the right way, it forces other teams to kind of, not play risky, but they have to either chip the puck or dump it away, which we get it back or they’re going to try to make a play and he's got great stick habits in the D-zone, but also the neutral zone, which he connects. And that's usually how he gets a lot of opportunities offensively, is with good defensive play. 

"So that's a good example when we're trying to tell the young guys to play properly and not take chances and play risky, especially when we're in a game that we're in control at one point, 2-0, and then not give the other team chances, make them really have to grind and work for it. Dickinson is probably the best example, him and Nick [Foligno] are the great examples for us in that department."

Dickinson and Foligno are the drivers of their line. Joey Anderson performed very well in that spot prior to his injury, and now Colin Blackwell has stepped into the right wing on the third line and has strung together two strong performances in a row.

It's no coincidence the constants are Dickinson and Foligno.

"I think it’s simplicity," Dickinson said. "I think it’s knowing that we can expect something from one another and it doesn’t matter who is on the right side for us, they’re expected to kind of understand that we’re going to push pucks forward and we’re going to try to work and that’s all we want from them. We’ll create plays off of our hard work."

The Blackhawks won't have many trade chips at the deadline, unlike last season. Dickinson, who's wearing the third "A" on his sweater with Seth Jones out, is one of the few that could actually garner interest and fetch a respectable return.

Dickinson, 28, has one year left on his contract at a cap hit of $2.65 million. Cut it in half and his value of $1.325 million seems like a bargain.

"Anybody that I know goes on that line, they like to play with those guys," Richardson said of Dickinson's line with Foligno. "They’re vocal on the ice, they’re experienced, they make the right plays most nights. Easy to play with, and usually get something done. They have a tough assignment most nights, checking the other team’s best players, and they seem to get on the scoresheet, too. Who wouldn’t want to play with them?"

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