Adam Boqvist is a Swedish defenseman drafted 8th overall in the 2018 draft. He’s the first top-ten draft pick since Patrick Kane in 2007 for the Chicago Blackhawks. Here we look into how he’s done during the first half of the 2018 Prospect Camp.
Aside from Henri Jokharju, Adam is the next highly-drafted Blackhawks defenseman hoping to break through to the NHL in the near future.
Recently, on Boqvist, Stan Bowman said “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.”
Well, Stan got one thing right: Boqvist certainly has a ton of talent. His quick release and ability to move with the puck have drawn my attention. When watching him offensively, you’d probably think he’s a forward if you didn’t know any better.
For example, here’s a clip from Wednesday’s practice. It’s a must watch.
Boqvist uses his speed to create the odd-man rush. Then, because he draws the attention of the lone defender, he dishes a beauty of a saucer pass to his forward. Adam then puts himself in the perfect position to finish off that rush on a one-timer.
Furthermore, his puck handling ability has been on full display in various stick handling drills this week. At just 17 years old, he very much looks like a player who will be an excellent offensive-defenseman down the road. The question, as always, is just how far down the road that’ll be.
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Torgny Bendelin, Boqvist’s coach in Sweden is predictably very high on him. As his coach, though, he understands where he needs to improve. “We coach him when he’s on defense. On offense, he needs no coaching,” said Bendelin. He continued, saying “He has to grow, get stronger and he also has to be a little bit smarter in the defensive zone.”
Boqvist on Defense
Clearly, Boqvist excels offensively. The knock on him is similar to Henri Jokiharju’s. Can these guys play defense at an NHL level? Will they hold their own against true NHL power forwards? Can they know when to jump in on a rush and when to stay back?
Well, through three days of camp, Adam has absolutely held his own defensively. According to multiple scouting reports, Curtis Joe’s being one in particular, Boqvist “utilizes an active stick and creates turnovers frequently.”
Well, Joe is right on the money with that one. Multiple times throughout the week he’s pick-pocketed opposing players. Here’s one such clip from Tuesday’s practice.
Because of his draft position, Boqvist has a lot of eyes on him. Then, if you consider he’s received many comparisons calling him Erik Karlsson’s “mini-me,” the pressure is really on.
However, given the pressure, Adam seems relatively un-phased. He’s battled dyslexia, concussions and much more through this 17 years of living.
his first NHL prospect camp? That’s just another day at the office.
Blackhawks fans should look forward to watching Boqvist on the ice when he inevitably breaks into the NHL in the next few years.
My advice? Come on out to MB Ice Arena this week and see him (#26) put on an incredible display of talent while you still can for free.