Chicago Blackhawks Future Friday: Chad Krys


Chad Krys is working to be the next great Chicago Blackhawks defenseman

At the beginning of last season, Chad Krys was looked at as one of the more promising potential first-round picks heading into the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Playing with the U.S. Development Program, Krys was projected as a top-30 skater in North American rankings and found himself with the highest of expectations for 2015-16.

An underwhelming campaign, though, caused his draft stock to slip into the second round. He now has a lot to look forward to in his future career with Chicago. To the delight of the Blackhawks, Krys was able to be selected 45th overall in this past June’s draft, using one of their acquired draft picks from the Andrew Shaw trade.

For Krys to develop into the type of player to contribute significantly at the NHL level, he’ll have to put in the work at the NCAA ranks as he is set to join Boston University for the 2016-17 season. Adversely, Krys will also have to break through the log-jam that has become the Blackhawks’ depth at the defensive position.

Over the next two to three years, players like Michal Rozsival and Brian Campbell will be gone from the Blackhawks system, and players like Viktor Svedberg, Ville Pokka, Erik Gustafsson and Gustav Forsling will be vying for those open positions.

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For Krys to be in the mix, he will need to show that he can be the kind of two-way, puck-moving defender that the Blackhawks, and the NHL in general, is beginning to trend more towards.

Krys has seen nice success with Team USA

Before Krys made his jump to Boston University, he racked up valuable experience playing for the U.S. Development program and played for Team USA in multiple tournaments. In 2014, Krys began his Junior career in the USDP, tallying 29 points in 41 games with the U-17 National Team, and another 20 points in 22 games with the U-18 National Team.

Add into that 2014-15 season another 35 games and 26 points for the USNTDP in the USHL and Krys had scored 75 points (10 goals, 65 assists) in 98 games before major international play.

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In the U-17 World Championships, Krys would lead all defensemen in the tournament with seven points in six games, helping the U.S. to a silver medal. Then, at the U-18 World Junior Championships, Krys would tally five points in seven games, helping bring home a gold medal for the U.S. over Finland.

Following the success of the 2014-15 season, Krys had high expectations for 2015-16. He returned to the U.S. Development Program in the USHL, racking up 13 points in 18 games, as well as skating in 53 games for the U.S. National Team and scoring 29 points.

For the hype that was surrounding Krys, his production left something to be desired. Nonetheless, Krys returned to International play for the US at the U-18 and U-20 World Junior Championships.

Krys would score three points in seven games at the U-18 World Juniors, helping the U.S. to a bronze medal over Canada in a 10-3 thumping. While at the U-20 World Juniors, plying alongside future fellow Blackhawks prospects Nick Schmaltz and Alex DeBrincat, Krys would fail to tally a point in his seven games as the U.S. would again take home a bronze medal, this time beating Sweden 8-3.

All totaled in his time with Team USA, Krys skated in 196 games and scored 132 points (16 Goals, 116 Assists).

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Future projection for Chad Krys

Off to Boston University after being selected by the Blackhawks 45th overall this past June, Krys has a lot to work on before he can make the successful jump from the NCAA to the professional ranks.

While his skating ability is top-notch and he posses high-caliber speed on the ice, his decision-making needs to improve, especially since Krys will be the type of player that Boston University and the Blackhawks will expect to run their powerplay units.

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His goal-scoring leaves much to be desired, but he makes up for it with his ability to distribute the puck and make plays for his teammates to put home. If Krys can continue to get stronger with his shot and sharpen his ability to see the ice at the NCAA level, he could find himself with a great opportunity to be a top-four defenseman who gets quality ice-time on the power-play unit.