The 2018 Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp continued Wednesday at MB Ice Arena in Chicago.
The Blackhawks opted for a new practice format to focus more heavily on positional skills. The group rotation continued, with Group A skating first, followed by Group B.
Since MB Ice Arena has two sheets of ice, the Blackhawks took advantage of the space. The practices were largely split into separate practices for the forwards and defensemen, with the goaltenders splitting time on each side. At the conclusion of the ice time for each group, the players were joined for a three-on-three mini scrimmage, the first full-ice competition of the camp.
Below are some observations Jeff Osborn and I made during today’s skates:
- Ian Mitchell used his stick exceptionally well again today during the defense group drills. Throughout the week, Mitchell has shown the ability to have his stick pressuring the attacking player almost as soon as the player receives the puck. His gaps have been excellent. Additionally, during his group’s three-on-three mini scrimmage, Mitchell scored on a wicked, top-shelf wrist shot.
- Adam Boqvist showed good quickness during a breakout drill in the defense group practice. He used his skating ability to wait a split second longer behind the net to bait the attacking player. Boqvist was able to identify the open teammate and get the puck to them quickly.
- Chad Krys again showed good intensity and composure today. After a rough Monday, he seems to be settled in and is playing with much more confidence.
- John Dahlstrom and Alexis Gravel had a bit of a feud taking place during their practice. At one point in a drill, Dahlstrom took a hack at Gravel in an attempt to get a rebound opportunity. Gravel took exception and stared Dahlstrom down afterward. The two yapped at each other throughout the rest of the practice.
- Wouter Peeters continues to be an enigma. His play has left a lot to be desired and he seems to lack confidence. Jeff determined the best word to describe Peeters is “clunky.”
- Josiah Slavin again impressed with his shot. He has shown to have heavy and accurate wrist shots and snapshots. While he could greatly benefit from adding some muscle, there is no denying he has a great shot and knows how to use it.
- Jake Wise displayed his shooting talent today, regularly beating goaltenders clean during drills. Wise also had a nifty goal during his group’s three-on-three mini scrimmage, stick handling around a defender and then beating the goaltender.
- Jake McLaughlin, a 6’2”, 185-pound defenseman from UMass and a Hinsdale, Illinois, native, joined the camp today with Group B. McLaughlin donned a number 96 white jersey. He registered three goals and 10 assists last season as a sophomore in 39 games to go along with 28 penalty minutes and a –4 rating. Two of McLaughlin’s three tallies came on the man advantage.
- Niklas Nordgren again did not skate today, nor did Blake Hillman and Jack Ramsey. No word on their statuses.
Check out photos from the week here: