Blackhawks development camp wraps up with futures game


Friday’s full-team scrimmage was the highlight of the week of development camp for the Chicago Blackhawks. Pitting two teams of the future of the franchise together, it is one final chance for young players to showcase their skills and summer progress. For many, this was the first time since the end of their seasons to play in a game-type of situation and gave the Blackhawks’ community a chance to see them up close and personal for the first time.

Blackhawks development camp comes to a close

As the scrimmage started, it was evident in team play that players like Nicolas Beaudin, Adam Boqvist and Philipp Kurashev have a higher level to their game than most. Also making waves early on in the day were forwards Brandon Hagel and Josiah Slavin, who teamed up for a pair of goals in the first period of play.

The highlight of the day came early in the first period, and it came in dramatic fashion from Boqvist.

That highlight is going to hold a lot of people over for hockey content for the summer. Boqvist was paired with Beaudin on the red team for the scrimmage and their play off of each other generated a lot of pace and offensive chances for their squad.

Not to be outdone in the first period, 2019 third overall selection Kirby Dach made his impression on the scrimmage late in the period, finishing off a breakaway chance on goaltender Alexis Gravel.

And then, Dach did this to Jake Ryczek, the day after Ryczek signed an AHL contract with the Rockford IceHogs.

Yeah, he is going to be pretty decent.

Throughout the week of development camp, more players stood out on their own than in years past for development camp. From top to bottom, the roster of players in camp show that the Blackhawks’ prospect system has a level of depth to it, at all positions, which it has lacked in recent years. Notably, the 2018 and 2019 draft classes have shown a decent amount of promise across the board. From Boqvist and Dach to Slavin and Gravel, there is a lot to be excited about in the future of the Blackhawks’ organization.


Kirby Dach on his biggest takeaway from the week:

“Learning a lot off the ice about what it takes to be a pro in the game: How to handle myself with the way I eat and cook, stuff surrounding that. The game has become a lifestyle. You can’t just show up at the rink and have things happen. You have to do the right things away from the rink.”

Dach on making an impact on the Blackhawks’ staff:

“Any time you step on the ice, you want to leave an impression on them and make the decision hard on management to send me back. But, that is out of my control. The only thing I can control is myself and my actions.”

Mark Eaton (Director of Player Development) on what he looks for from players off the ice:

“Interaction is big; just to see the guys that are engaged in the process. They have all stated what they want to improve on in their developments and a lot of it is off-ice skills like time management, sleep management, mental skills. Those are things we try to give them information on throughout the week and they’ve shown a willingness to absorb that kind of information.”

Eaton on Boqvist and making the next step to the professional game:

“I think it’s going to be an experience thing: Getting experience, whether it’s at the NHL or AHL, whatever that next step is for him. You saw some of the things he could do out there today, but it’s more finding out for himself what moves or skills will work at whatever level he is playing, when it’s against bigger, stronger and faster guys. I’ve always said he is underrated on the defensive side of his game. He has some great qualities defensively; he’s such a smart player, and it’s not just one sided with him.”

Eaton on Dach’s week:

“He’s such a strong kid; you saw he was able to chase down a guy (Teply) and lift his stick and take the puck away; just already the strength in him and the frame he has left to grow into. He’s an exciting player, a great kid, he fit into the group and showed a willingness and eagerness to do what he needs to get to the next level.”

Brandon Hagel on first experience in Blackhawks camp:

“It was good to be here, good to meet everyone and put names to faces. Gave me a bit more confidence going into camp. … I feel like I was able to stick to my game and use my speed—one of my biggest assets—and build off of the other skilled players in camp.”

Hagel on going through the development process with former Red Deer teammate Reese Johnson:

“It’s pretty cool. Not many people get to come with their best friend that they have played with the last four years. Having him here obviously gives you more of a comfort level; you’re with one of the people you’ve know for a long time and you’re getting to meet new people together and makes it easier as it goes on.”

Boqvist on making an impression on the Blackhawks’ staff in camp:

“The only thing I can do is be myself. I can’t be Patrick Kane or Duncan Keith or anyone. I have to be myself and play good.”

Boqvist on his comfort level going through a second development camp:

“You know the stuff now. You’re not that nervous out there; you’re just excited to get back and show them that you are one year better and older. (I am) just trying to be confident out there and play my game.”

Boqvist on if he will watch his highlights from the scrimmage:

“Yeah, probably not. Probably just go back and have a nap. (Laughs) I’m pretty tired, so just want to have some rest.”

You and me both, Adam.

What’s next?

For the Blackhawks’ community, the 12th annual Chicago Blackhawks Convention will be held from July 26–28, 2019, at the Hilton Chicago. Following that, the Traverse City rookie tournament will take place sometime in the first two weeks of August, when most of the players who were featured this week will compete together in Traverse City, Michigan.

Keep it locked into The-Rink all summer as the 2019–20 season inches closer and closer.

Center Ice Forums Blackhawks development camp wraps up with futures game

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    Mario Tirabassi

    Friday’s full-team scrimmage was the highlight of the week of development camp for the Chicago Blackhawks. Pitting two teams of the future of the fran
    [To continue reading full article, click here: Blackhawks development camp wraps up with futures game]

    Mister Ricochet

    Great work this week, Mario……….   As mentioned the system is starting to show depth, probably the biggest takeaway from camp.  An example would be 2018 7th rd pick Josiah Slavin.   Kid is known for his work ethic, motor, do the dirty work as a team player and he lights the lamp 3 times.

    Get enough guys like that in the pipeline, let alone from the 7th rd, and everything else in an organIzation will take care of itself.

    Wanna add what an NHL exec was quoted as saying in a Powers article after the draft about Dach. “Few players in the world have the combination of size/skating/IQ/hands/vision that Dach has”.  Long way to go but Dach is showing what that exec said.

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