The 2018 Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp resumed Tuesday at MB Ice Arena in Chicago.
As the Blackhawks normally do, Groups A and B switched ice slots today, with Group B skating at 1 p.m. and Group A skating at 3 p.m. Both ice slots consisted of more drills and small-area games, similar to the opening day, though all of the drills and games were slightly different.
With a second day of skating, some players added to their strong Monday performances, while others made progress.
Below are some observations Jeff Osborn and I made during Tuesday’s session:
- Jake Wise impressed yet again. He was very quick, both in his actions and decisions, and was intense and assertive. Wise has worked his tail off and it shows. He has been one of, if not the most noticeable player in the camp in my book. It seems he is playing with a chip on his shoulder, wanting to prove 30 teams wrong for not taking him sooner in the draft and showing he was deserving of being selected earlier. The early returns appear he is a steal for the Blackhawks, though it is obviously very early.
- Alexandre Fortin played with confidence. As Jeff mentioned yesterday, he seems to have regained his step and is playing with more swagger and assertiveness. I was impressed with his puck protection ability, as he regularly showed he was capable of blocking defenders’ sticks with his body and legs.
- Adam Boqvist again looked good, especially in terms of his skating and his stick, both offensively and defensively. In some one-on-ones and two-on-twos, Boqvist used his high-end skating to cover ice and keep forwards to the outside. Boqvist showed off his stick handling ability in a tight-area stick handling game, making a few nice moves around the player trying to knock the puck off his stick. When it was Boqvist’s turn to be the antagonist, he did a good job poking pucks off of sticks. He still has a long way to go physically, but his skill level is undeniable.
- Chad Krys had a much more positive day Tuesday. He almost appeared to be a bit too loose Monday, as he regularly lost the handle on the puck while stick handling and did not appear to play with much intensity. Tuesday, however, was significantly more promising. Krys was dialed in and it showed. He looked way more confident and composed than he did yesterday. One area during drills that stood out to me was his passing ability. In a long-range one-touch passing drill, Krys was making hard, crisp, tape-to-tape passes half the length of the ice.
- Philipp Kurashev was decent Monday and improved on day two. His skating ability was evident, as he was able to change direction well. He also made some nice plays with the puck in the small-area games. He has competed well and has not been hesitant to use his body to his advantage in puck retrieval and protection.
- Nicolas Beaudin was overshadowed during the first day by Boqvist and Ian Mitchell, but stood out more on day two. He has spent much of the calendar year focusing on his defensive game, and it shows. He did a good job keeping forwards in front of him and keeping a tight gap.
- Tim Soderlund again played with high intensity and compete level Tuesday. He is a hard worker and showed good hockey smarts. At one point, he took a forearm to the face and appeared to be shaken up, but jumped right back in line and put forth a good effort.
- Soderlund and Mathias From appeared to have good chemistry. The two enjoyed being partners in drills and played well off each other.
- John Dahlstrom stood out again with his size and offensive ability. Though only listed as being 6’0” and 189 pounds, Dahlstrom played bigger, using his frame to cause havoc in the small-area games. He also showed off his shot, cleanly beating goaltenders with his wrist shot on a few occasions.
- Josiah Slavin again showed his offensive ability for the second day, showcasing his great release and edge work. He has been great in one-on-one and two-on-two rushes both days so far. Slavin has regularly beat goaltenders clean with his shot.
- Mathew Robson, a free agent invite goaltender from the University of Minnesota, made his camp debut today.
- Niklas Nordgren did not skate Tuesday. No word on his status. He did not appear to be injured during yesterday’s skate.
Check out photos from Days 1 & 2 here: