The 2018 Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp continued Thursday at MB Ice Arena in Chicago.
The two practice sessions reverted back to the style of those on Monday and Tuesday with all of the players on the same sheet of ice and closely resembled the format of the early practices as well: beginning with a light warm-up, followed by some skating drills, largely focusing on intricacies of skating technique, as the drills were sometimes a bit awkward, then transitioning into various drills including one-on-one physical battles and puck protection. Some more team-oriented type of drills followed, usually in the form of two-on-twos or a transition/regroup type of drill. The sessions were wrapped up with a structured full-length transition mini-game. Film from the mini-game can be viewed on Twitter, with Group A visible here and Group B visible here.
Friday will wrap up this year’s prospect camp, and the fans will be treated to a scrimmage, the first full-ice five-on-five action of the week. The scrimmage should serve as a good method to see the players’ skills in a real game situation.
Below are some observations Jeff Osborn and I made during today’s sessions:
- Frederik Olofsson had a better day today. He looked more confident and had some really nice shots throughout the skate.
- Jake Wise continued to impress. He has clearly worked hard and his skills continue to stand out. Needless to say, he has been a very pleasant surprise. It should be fun to see what he can do in Friday’s scrimmage.
- Josiah Slavin continued his display of high-end shooting. While he is still a long way from being an NHL player, there is no denying he can really shoot the puck.
- Alexandre Fortin had another good day, exuding confidence and polish throughout the session. He has been one of the most noticeable forwards in the camp.
- Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin displayed a glimpse of their high-end puck-moving abilities during a warm-up passing drill. The pair of 2018 first rounders partnered up in the drill and showcased their passing skills, rapidly firing one-touch passes to each other flawlessly for the duration of the drill.
- Boqvist also showed off his defensive ability a bit today in some drills. He had a very active stick and did a very good job knocking pucks off of opponents’ sticks.
- Tim Soderlund again showed good intensity throughout the skate. He has worked hard and has had a nice jump in his step throughout the week.
- John Dahlstrom continued to show his ability to be a pain to play against. He has shown an ability to use his body to cause havoc for opposing players, similar to Andrew Shaw in some ways.
- Chad Krys had a highlight-reel assist during one of today’s drills. Krys served as the point man in the drill and upon cue, rifled a perfect shot-pass to a wide open teammate on the back door for a tap-in. The play received praise from the coaches and other players on the ice and was another example of Krys’s confidence on display.
- Ian Mitchell continued to show off his wicked wrist shot. On a couple of occasions throughout the day, Mitchell cleanly beat goaltenders with perfectly placed lasers. Mitchell also had a really nice goal in the post-practice impromptu shootout, totally undressing goaltender Alexis Gravel in the process.
- Niklas Nordgren did not skate today. Nordgren has not taken the ice since Monday. Still no word on his status.
Check out photos from the week here: