The 2018 Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp wrapped up Friday at MB Ice Arena in Chicago.
The fans were treated to a scrimmage with the first full-ice five-on-five action of the week, a full period of four-on-four play, three-on-three overtime, and eventually a shootout. The scrimmage ended with the red team taking the win on shootout goals by Mackenzie Entwistle and free agent Princeton forward Ryan Kuffner (pictured above).
Don’t forget to listen to Thursday night’s Rinkcast to hear us talk more about what we saw.
Below are some observations Eric Andrews and I made during today’s sessions:
- Alexandre Fortin wrapped up his week as the clear cut best forward on the ice, exuding confidence and polish throughout the session.
- As mentioned above, Ryan Kuffner had himself a nice scrimmage, scoring in the second period and then icing the win with one of the only two shootout goals.
- Tim Soderlund was not nearly as noticeable as he was last summer, but he flies with the puck and is fearless. That said, the coaching staff had him playing right wing instead of center. He looked to have really nice chemistry with Mathias From, who also had a very solid camp.
- Freddy Olofsson, Liam Coughlin and free agent Connor Moynihan had the best chances in the first period and it is no surprise that they were also three of the bigger players on the ice.
- Speaking of bigger players, Josiah Slavin certainly didn’t look like a late round draft pick this week. He seemed to be everywhere.
- We saw a lot of Adam Boqvist, but he was much more interested in the offensive side of the rink than his own. During a couple of plays, he insisted on making one too many fancy moves and turned the puck over both in his own zone and at the far blue line.. To anyone with delusions of this kid playing for the Blackhawks at 17/18 years old, just reel your hopes back in right now. He did have a really nice assist on Olofsson’s goal in the second period.
- Henri Jokiharju spent a good deal of time on the ice and continued to get a nice push, especially on the power play. The coaching staff was clearly comfortable with having him on the ice in all situations.
- Similarly, Chad Krys was out on the ice in the same situations. His anticipation was very noticeable.
- Beau Starrett was one of the few centers to stand out. His big frame and long strides allowed him to blow around defencemen on a couple of occasions.
- Niklas Nordgren did not skate because of a lower body injury, Jacob Nilsson took an early flight back to Sweden, and Blake Hillman just sat out.
- Jack Ramsey made his return to the ice and was awarded the camp trophy for his team’s win.
- Free agent Kyle Maksimovich had a goal and was around the puck all day.
- As far as the goalies go, Alexis Gravel and Mathew Robeson held the teams scoreless in the first period. Wouter Peeters had much more favorable results in his period of play than he was the previous four days, but was still unimpressive overall. Free agent from St. Francis Xavier University and USports Goaltender of the Year Chase Marchand (cousin of Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand) played the third period, the overtime and the shootout without allowing a single goal.
Check out over 120 photos from the week at the Rink’s Official Facebook page: