Adam Boqvist of the Chicago Blackhawks went through a lot during his second season in the NHL.
While there is a lot to potentially highlight as takeaways for this season, I think it is important to remember that Boqvist has still only played under 80 games in the NHL. The young pro is only 20 years old and still has a lot of time ahead of him before the Blackhawks can truly understand what kind of player he is.
The Chicago Blackhawks defense was not good, no one on that blue line was that great, even Connor Murphy struggled at times and he is supposed to be the team’s go-to defenseman. This team can improve, and they have the young players to do it without making too many big trades, although a few free agents could help the cause.
Adam Boqvist was drafted eight overall during the 2018 NHL draft, some three seasons later he is now finding himself paired alongside Duncan Keith on one of the team’s best units more often than not. The way his career started has me thinking something else would have been better for the young future core piece of the team.
1. Some time in the AHL probably would have helped
The Blackhawks might have rushed Adam Boqvist a little bit. There I said it. Similar to even Mitchell and Beaudin, some of these guys were not ready to make the jump to the NHL when they did.
While they did compete for a while eventually it turned into them just treading water and trying to keep up. I am all for the Blackhawks giving these players opportunities but if playing 20 plus minutes a night of meaningful hockey would be better for some of these guys then that is the route that needs to be taken.