So how did the Blackhawks do with their selections at the 2018 NHL Draft? Some analysts are already offering their grades.
- Corey Pronman (The Athletic) – Grade: B+
Comment: “Chicago got a potential impact guy with their first pick in Adam Boqvist. Nicolas Beaudin was a little rich for me where they got him, but he does a lot of things I like and he’s a fine prospect. I actually think their next two picks pick Jake Wise and Niklas Nordgren are better (they obviously disagree). I’m a big Wise fan, if he was healthy I think he would have had huge numbers this season. I didn’t love Philipp Kurashev or Alexis Gravel this season, but they have talent, and in the fourth and sixth rounds, respectively, they were fine bets. Beaudin pick aside, I like a lot of what Chicago did here and they helped their system a lot.”
— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) June 25, 2018
- Chris Peters (ESPN) – Grade: A-
Comments: “In a growing line of dynamic Swedish defensemen, Adam Boqvist is an exciting one. He’s particularly good at the offensive blue line, where he shows great confidence in handling the puck and opens up a lot of options for both himself and teammates with his patience. Of the defensemen in this draft, Boqvist might have the best shot, with a quick release that helps him gets pucks on net in a hurry. Boqvist is not an NHL-ready prospect, but is a player with a remarkably high ceiling. He certainly has top-pairing potential. He plays a style that is so valued in today’s game with his ability to stretch the ice and create offense from the blue line.
Nicolas Beaudin led Drummondville in scoring with 69 points this season. His defensive game needs work, as he’s at a bit of a disadvantage due to his size. That said, he does a lot of things well when he has the puck on his stick, making quick decisions and making himself a threat the other team has to be aware of. Anyone who moves the puck as well as Beaudin is going to give himself a good chance of reaching the next level.
The Blackhawks kept loading up on D in the first round and got a potentially special player in Boqvist. I wasn’t as big of a fan of the Beaudin pick at that point, but he has really gotten a lot more love from scouts of late than I had previously heard. I thought Chicago’s Day 2 was excellent thanks to some players I personally really like in the first three Saturday picks. Jake Wise and Niklas Nordgren lack size, but they’re excellent offensively. Wise also plays the game so fast, and Nordgren has been an elite goal scorer at the U18 and U20 levels in Finland. Nordgren’s play away from the puck is average, and he doesn’t have great size, but he does have a terrific shot and can get to the goal-scoring areas extremely well. Philipp Kurashev is also a guy whom I had higher than he ended up going. Lastly, the Blackhawks added goalie Alexis Gravel, who is super raw and has a lot he needs to work on, but it wasn’t worth reaching for a goaltender, and the Hawks didn’t have to. This was a positive step forward for Chicago’s system.”
Pick 8 -Adam Boqvist – Grade: A
Comment: “Phenomenal playmaker might gave challenged for first overall had it not been for Dahlin. Boqvist is a finesse defender, silky smooth enough to beat back pressure and keep the ice tilted.”
Pick 27 – Nicolas Beaudin – Grade: A-
Comment: “Hawks take another defenseman in the first round, but Beaudin is a smart puck mover who plays a concise, calculated pro-style game. I still think they need help up front but this clearly was a pick made due to Beaudin’s realistic top-pairing upside.”
- Cody Benjamin (CBS) – B+
Comment: “They double dipped on defenseman in the first round and then collected a bunch of scorers later on. Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudini both still have work to do, but Chicago has to be happy about getting so much upside in the building.”