Blackhawks News

Small-named Stand Outs in Chicago Blackhawks’ Development Camp

By Samuel Boland
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 06: Blake Hillman #55 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates in the second period against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center on April 6, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The St. Louis Blues defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 06: Blake Hillman #55 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates in the second period against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center on April 6, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The St. Louis Blues defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Through three days of Prospect Camp, I’ve went in depth on Adam Boqvist and both Henri Jokiharju and Jake Wise. Today, we’ll continue to look into some of the smaller-named players who’ve impressed thus far and who to watch as the week carrier on.

Who’s Impressed

Through three days, most everybody’s eyes have been on Henri Jokiharju, and Adam Boqvist. It’s well deserving as they’re both two highly-drafted players trying to crack the NHL. It’s absolutely worth noting again just how impressive these guys have been. To read further into Boqvist’s performance through the first half of camp, check this article.

Additionally, Jake Wise has been my favorite prospect to watch. He works harder than anyone I’ve seen. Furthermore, he carries himself similar to that of a young Jonathon Toews. His playing style has led me coin him “Nick Schmaltz 2.0.” His play making ability, hands, and IQ all stand out. He has the talent to score, but looks to be a pass-first type forward. For more on him and Jokiharju, check my story here.

All things considering, there are more than three prospects attending camp. Here I’ll detail what other not-so-big-named guys have caught my eye thus far.

Blake Hillman (55)

Through three practices now, I’m very high on Hillman. If you recall, he played four games with the Hawks at the end of the season and scored his first NHL goal. For the majority of camp, Hillman has been paired alongside defenseman Henri Jokiharju.  The two have looked pretty darn good together breaking up odd-man rushes and defending their own zone in two on two drills.

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Also, Hillman isn’t afraid to throw his body around either. His physicality has played to his advantage multiple times through camp thus far, especially during board battles. He doesn’t over-commit to any plays or attempt to do too much- a significant upgrade in comparison to some people who’ve played the blue-line in recent seasons.

Additionally, he’s got a big slap shot which has looked rock solid coming from the point. Blake looks fit to be one of the guys battling for a bottom-four spot come training camp.

If it were my decision, he’d get one.

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