Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Players to Watch at Development Camp

The Blackhawks recently released the roster for their upcoming development camp.

Chicago Blackhawks development camp begins Monday and goes through July 19. The roster shouldn’t really surprise anyone, but there are still several players worth keeping an eye on.

Here is the full roster of Blackhawks players who are participating this year:

This will be our first look at some of these up-and-coming prospects. There are 5 players in particular that I believe everyone should be watching for.

Kirby Dach

This is a no-brainer; the third overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft and the Blackhawks’ top prospect.

Blackhawks’ General Manager, Stan Bowman, said Dach will be given every opportunity to make the Blackhawks’ opening night roster next season.

That journey begins Monday at development camp as all eyes will be on the young center.

Some analysts and fans thought the Dach selection was a reach over players like Bowen Byram and Alex Turcotte; this is his first opportunity to make a good first impression.

Adam Boqvist

Boqvist nearly made the NHL roster out of training camp last season for a far more defensive minded coach.

After a year of adapting to the North American ice and game in the OHL, and being a far better fit in Jeremy Colliton’s system, Boqvist is now a prime candidate to earn a roster spot.

This training camp will be his first chance to impress the new coaching staff. Boqvist’s play style should be a perfect fit in Colliton’s man-to-man defense.

When Boqvist rotates to defend a player toward the blueline, he’ll be in position to force turnovers and create offensive chances the other way. Here’s an example of what he can do off the rush:

Alexis Gravel

Blackhawks’ top goaltending prospect attending the prospect camp, Gravel will be the center of attention in the crease.

Gravel is still likely several years away from seeing NHL action, but he’s still a fascinating prospect. This camp should show how his development is progressing.

Here’s an example of Gravel’s work at last year’s development camp:

Philipp Kurashev

The young, dynamic Swiss forward turns heads every chance he gets. One of the major eye opening events was at the World Juniors this past winter while making plays like this:

This is the perfect opportunity for him to impress the Blackhawks’ brass. In fact, this could be the first chance for Kurashev to develop chemistry with center of the future, Kirby Dach. Wouldn’t that be a fun duo for the foreseeable future?

Nicolas Beaudin

In light of the Jokiharju trade, Chicago’s high-end defensive prospects are more important now than ever. Beaudin likely still needs time to develop before he sees NHL time, but this prospect camp is a good opportunity to show how close he actually is.

In the development camp last year, Beaudin reminded me of Duncan Keith with the way he defends one-on-one, using his stick and good positioning.

In the offensive zone, Beaudin also plays similarly to Keith; he uses mobility to open up passing and shooting lanes. Here’s a clip of his one-on-one defending:

Honorable mentions: Evan Barratt, Mackenzie Entwistle, Dominik Kubalik, Ian Mitchell, Alex Vlasic