Analysis

A Glimpse Into Future at Chicago Blackhawks Development Camp

By Tony Gianares
Kirby Dach, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
Kirby Dach, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks have assembled quite an impressive arsenal of high-end prospects over the past couple of seasons. The future looks as bright as ever.

Chicago Blackhawks’ Development Camp has kicked off this week. There has been plenty of action so far and even an Artem Anisimov trade. Our first opportunity to see many of the new faces in action has not disappointed.

A few of the Blackhawks’ top prospects have separated themselves from the pack. One of the most notable players in camp has been 2019 3rd overall pick, Kirby Dach, whose poise and skill set has been consistently on display.

Besides Dach, some other notable names are Adam Boqvist, Ian Mitchell, and Alexander Nylander.

This week, these standouts have given fans a glimpse into what the future holds for the Blackhawks. Let’s take a closer look at each of their performances in camp.

Kirby Dach

Kirby Dach has been front and center ever since he was selected 3rd overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Many fans had some apprehension when Dach’s name was called, but he has done a good job of clearing up those doubts in camp.

Outside of his playmaking ability and puckhandling, it’s pretty safe to say that the average fan doesn’t know much else about Kirby Dach.

Well, for one, he has a high hockey IQ and good poise for an 18-year-old. His self-awareness is also quite noticeable. He knows where he stands and what he needs to work on.

Kirby Dach has also shown off his happy-go-lucky personality in tons of development camp footage. This will help him get acclimated to the Blackhawks’ locker room a lot faster.

When I first heard Dach speak, it instantly reminded me of the tv show, Letterkenny, which has a strong hockey influence. You can see for yourself in the next video.

As it stands right now, the Chicago Blackhawks have left the door wide open for Kirby Dach to make the roster. It looks like he has a great chance with the way his camp performance has gone.

I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him in a Blackhawks’ sweater this season. Another year of junior hockey with the Saskatoon Blades won’t help Dach elevate his game much.  If the kid is ready, why not let him play?

With moves like these, the Blackhawks are surely going to have a tough decision to make ahead of the 2019-20 NHL season. In the meantime, say hello to Dirty Kirby.

Adam Boqvist

Speaking of kids being ready, the next standout on the list fits that mold. Adam Boqvist has looked really good and made impressive strides in his development.

He looks so much better than he did one year ago, and one year ago, he almost made the Blackhawks’ NHL roster.

Stan Bowman has also had some big-time compliments for Boqvist. It’s looking like he will make the jump this season and go pro, either for the Blackhawks or Rockford IceHogs. This is great news any way you look at it.

Of all the Blackhawks’ defensemen prospects, Adam Boqvist has the highest ceiling. He had a fantastic season with the London Knights of the OHL where he posted 60 points (20G, 40A) with a 12 ± rating in 54 games. He carried that momentum right into development camp.

Not only is he looking good in the offensive zone, but he has drastically improved in the defensive zone over the past year. You can see flashes of Boqvist’s true potential and it is pretty.

Here, Adam Boqvist totally disproves the whole “can’t play defense thing” too.

Ian Mitchell

Ian Mitchell has looked fantastic at the Chicago Blackhawks’ development camp. Mitchell has also made one thing very clear. He plans on signing with the Blackhawks and he values loyalty.

Well, I guess that’s a good sign. Let’s hope he follows through, because this team can’t afford to lose Mitchell.

Some things that I really like about Ian Mitchell is his skill set, composure, and work ethic. He’s just flat out dedicated to honing his craft and being the best player he can be.

Of all the Blackhawks’ defensive prospects, I would say he’s the most well-rounded of them all. You get a good idea of the type of player Mitchell is in this video.

Alexander Nylander

Alexander Nylander may be the most controversial player on the Blackhawks right now. Fans were upset about trading Henri Jokiharju and rightfully so. Nylander has yet to crack the NHL and he is now in his 4th season of professional hockey.

With that being said, he does have the raw skill set to be an NHL player. We will have to wait and see if he can find a way to put it all together.

Nylander canceled a vacation so he could attend Blackhawks’ development camp. Major brownie points right there. He has made a good first impression in camp and that’s all you can ask for at this point.

Nylander is trending in the right direction though, which is making the NHL roster. Stan Bowman is leaving the door open for him too.

At the end of the day, the Chicago Blackhawks are in a much better spot than they were last season.

Part of that was lucking into the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and the other part was being smart with trades and signings. I honestly can’t wait for the season to start. Is it October yet?!

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