Though I haven’t seen as much of these guys, they’re all players who’ve done one thing or another to stand out to me during camp.
Mikael Hakkarainen (15): Center from Finland who’s finished a handful of odd-man rushes and has made a lot of smart plays with the puck. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. His agility when carrying the puck has stood out significantly. Additionally, he’s got a knack for finishing scoring chances. He’s topped off multiple odd-man rushes by going top-shelf on the goaltender.
Joshua Ess (17): A seventh round pick in the 2017 draft. He’s a defenseman who hasn’t been talked about much, but his hockey IQ has impressed me a handful of times as well as his shot. If I had to make sleeper pick on which of the bottom-of-the-pile defensemen breaks out a few years from now, he’s my guy.
Alexis Gravel (70): We all know the Blackhawks’ goaltender situation is less than ideal. During camp, each goaltender looks to be generally on the same level. However, Gravel (of the Halifax Mooseheads) would be my pick of the six in attendance who eventually begin to climb in the Blackhawks’ organization.
Nicolas Beaudin (34): Chicago’s other 2018 first round pick. He hasn’t been caught out of position at all during scrimmages or odd-man rushes. His skating and ability to move is impressive and already looks NHL-ready. Though I haven’t seen anything particularly flashes through three days, he seems to consistently make the right decision with and without the puck.
MacKenzie Entwistle (37): Entwistle came over recently in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes. His size and big shot are both stand-out characteristics I’ve seen. Bowman is very high on him as he nearly drafted him last season before Arizona took him the pick before.