Chicago Blackhawks Release 2018 Development Camp Roster
By Samuel Boland
Today, Monday July 9th, the Chicago Blackhawks announced their 2018 Development Camp Roster. The camp is July 16-20th at MB Ice Arena and includes all of their 2018 draft picks.
After a slow summer for the Chicago Blackhawks, fans’ attention has began to shift from free agency and trade rumors to the 2018 prospect camp. After seeing the moves (or lack thereof) that the Blackhawks made, it seems their attention is focused on the future. I suppose Blackhawks fans might as well shift it there, too.
According to Chris Wescott of chicagoblackhawks.com, there’s 41 total players on the roster and 32 total Blackhawks draft picks. The roster includes all eight of the Chicago Blackhawks 2018 draft picks.
Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times has the official roster.
Who to Watch For
Boqvist, a Swedish defenseman drafted 8th overall in 2018, is the Blackhawks’ first top-ten draft pick since Patrick Kane in 2007, will hope to impress at camp. At just 17 years old, he’s by far the youngest prospect in attendance. Additionally, Boqvist recently signed a three-year entry-level deal with the team on July 1st.
Aside from Jokharju, Adam is the next highly-drafted Blackhawks defenseman hoping to break through to the NHL in the near future. Wescott of chicagoblackhawks.com talked with GM Stan Bowman about Boqvist:
“That’s a big move for us and, in particular, for the development of Adam over the next couple of seasons,” Bowman said in relation to signing Boqvist to that entry-level deal. “Obviously, he’s got a ton of talent. We’re really excited about his skill set and what he brings to the table. He’s a dynamic offensive defenseman. We’re looking to play a role in his development over the next couple of years and the goal is to try to get him ready for the NHL as soon as possible.”
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Adam Boqvist will wear #26 at camp.
Nicolas Beaudin is an offensive-defenseman with a big left-handed shot picked 27th in this past 2018 draft. His speed and mobility are both incredible and undoubtedly contribute to his ability to move the puck in the neutral and offensive zone. Curtis Joe of elitehockeyprospects.com detailed Beaudin as a player.
“Defensively, he is assertive and, though he isn’t able to impose himself physically, he uses his vision and quickness to take away options and put pressure on the opposition. He plays a structured game offensively, and he does the little things right. His ability to recognize where the puck is, where it is going to be, and why it is going to be there is an indicator of his high-level hockey sense. When you put together skill, speed, and excellent decision-making as well as he does, that translates to on-ice productivity and power-play time.”
Though it’s tough to gage how long it’ll be before Beaudin is able to make the Blackhawks roster, his playing style is a perfect fit for the Blackhawks’ blue-line of the future.
Nicolas Beaudin will wear #34 during camp.
Jokiharju, the Blackhawks 29th pick in the 2017 NHL draft, is the biggest player to watch during this prospect camp. Though there are other players hoping to pave their way into the Hawks opening night lineup — Blake Hillman being one of them to watch — Jokiharju is the one to keep your eye on.
Jokiharju absolutely lit up the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks over the past two seasons. His most impressive season to date came last year where he totaled 71 points in just 63 games. Making up those 71 points were 12 goals and 59 assists. Henri ended the year an impressive +47 in the +/- category.
Da Windy City
Obviously, the Blackhawks would benefit from any number of the 41 guys attending the development camp having an impressive week. That being said, they’d like Jokiharju more than anyone else to do so. Bowman failed to do anything to make a difference to the team’s blue-line during the offseason.
Hopefully, Jokiharju can be the difference on a defense which badly needs a change. Henri is dangerously close to being ready for the NHL. However, it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll be able to break through this year. Making the jump to the NHL from juniors is difficult. Doing so as a defenseman is even harder. This years development camp will show us how close he truly is.
For more on Jokiharju’s potential break through, check our story here.
Next: Chicago Blackhawks: Can Henri Jokiharju make the jump to the NHL?
Jokiharju, who wore 16 for the Portland Winterhawks, will be wearing 28 during camp (sorry Steve Larmer).
Additionally, I’d recommend watching out for Blake Hillman (D, #55), Alexandre Fortin (F, #84), Jake Wise (C, #24) and Ian MItchell (D, 46).
-Blackhawks’ draft pick Adam Boqvist signed with the OHL’s London Knights.
-The Blackhawks did not invite any un-drafted defensemen to participate in their prospect camp.
-Prospect Camp is Monday July 16th through Friday July 20th from roughly 1-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday are all practices. There is a 9:30 a.m. scrimmage Friday morning.