Blackhawks Prospect Josiah Slavin Earns Praise From Joel Quenneville


Thursday on WGN Radio, Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said that forward Josiah Slavin caught his eye at prospect camp

Every Blackhawks fan knows that coach Q can be hard to impress.  Known for choosing favorites and giving them more ice time for their extra-effort, Quenneville knows what he wants to see out of his players and he certainly knows what he doesn’t want to see.  The Hawks play a system that is heavily reliant on positioning and unselfishness.  And if you find yourself overstepping those boundaries, you’ll probably find yourself “riding the pine.”

Last week, the Blackahawks held their annual prospect camp at the MB Ice Arena in Chicago giving coach Q the chance to see the new class of drafted players on the ice.  The camp lasted for five days with a heavy focus on drills and ended with a scrimmage on Friday morning.  The fans and media all had their eyes on first-round draft selections Henri Jokiharju and Adam Boqvist, but Joel Quenneville was also intrigued with someone else.

During his phone interview Thursday on the Steve Cochran Show on WGN Radio, Quenneville was asked about the camp and who fans should keep their eye on.  Here was Joel Quenneville’s response:

“The kid that might have impressed me the most was the Slavin kid (Josiah Slavin), his brother plays for Carolina.  He looks like he could be a player too.  It was like almost every one of these kids could turn out to be an NHL’er which is unusual.  Hopefully that’s the case, but certainly it was as good of a class that we’ve seen.”

Slavin was selected in the 7th round by the Blackhawks in this year’s NHL Draft in Dallas just last month.  He spent the last two seasons playing in the USHL for the Tri-City Storm and most recently the Lincoln Stars where he scored 23 goals and 19 assists in 60 games.

You may be asking yourself how a 19-year old 7th round pick gets the attention of an NHL head coach in a camp with several high-end prospects.  First off, Slavin has something that the Hawks don’t have too much of in their system and that’s size.  At 6’2 and 182 pounds, Slavin has a good frame and can certainly get bigger as he enters his twenties.  He showed his ability to use his body to protect the puck and play below the circles at prospect camp, and even scored a goal during the scrimmage.  He also showed the ability to play aggressively but also possess skill.  In today’s NHL, the more versatile you are, the better chance there is a roster spot for you.  Slavin has the potential to develop into a solid power-forward.

Slavin will return to the Lincoln Stars this season and has committed to playing for Colorado College of the NCHC in 2019-20 where he will play under former Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Haviland.

With Slavin already a household NHL name, Josiah has probably been getting comparisons to his brother his whole life.  But based on his work ethic and the high praise of coaches like Joel Quenneville, Josiah will have no problem paving his own way to the NHL.