NHL Draft: Blackhawks Draft Shutdown Defenseman Alex Vlasic

The 2nd day of the 2019 NHL Draft has been much more active with multiple trades. The Blackhawks stood their ground and still got their guy, defenseman Alex Vlasic, in the 2nd round.

With the 43rd overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks selected defenseman Alex Vlasic. Vlasic is actually a Wilmette, Illinois native and regarded as shutdown defenseman with some offensive upside.

He also comes from a strong pedigree, as his cousin is San Jose Sharks’ defenseman, Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Alex Vlasic is a big bodied defenseman who stands at 6’6″ 198 lbs. He said to be solid skater with high hockey IQ and good vision. This pick checks off some boxes for the Blackhawks, as they made defense a priority this offseason.

Vlasic fits the long term plans as a left-handed defensive-minded defenseman, who will complement the plethora of right-handed offensive-minded defensemen in the Blackhawks’ system.

Vlasic projects to be a solid Top 4 defenseman in the future. He had a good showing during the 2018-19 season with the USNTDP team. In 27 games of junior hockey, Vlasic produced 15 points (2G, 13A) with a 7 ± rating. In 61 games with the U.S. National U18 team, Vlasic saw a slight bump in production with 27 points (4G, 23A) in 61 games.

Let’s be honest, Vlasic wasn’t drafted for his offense. Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks had the future in mind with this pick. He complements some of the offensive-minded defensemen prospects in the Blackhawks’ system, such as Adam Boqvist, Chad Krys, and more. Most of their defensive prospects are also right handed.

Like most of the Blackhawks’ defensemen prospects, we likely won’t see him in a Blackhawks sweater next season as he could use a bit more seasoning. Vlasic is committed to Boston University in 2019-20.

Overall, I really like the pick and it helps solidify the Blackhawks’ defensive core of the future. Here are some clips of what Alex Vlasic has to offer. I’m pretty excited that we have snipes and outlet passes like these to look forward to in a couple of years.

Draft Grade: B+