Chicago Blackhawks: Adam Boqvist in the mix for 2019-2020 season?

(Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks selected Swedish defensemen Adam Boqvist with the eighth overall pick last year. Could he break camp with the team?

The Chicago Blackhawks drafted defenseman Adam Boqvist with the eighth overall pick last year, their highest draft pick since taking Patrick Kane with the first overall pick in 2007. The 18-year old elected to play in the Ontario Hockey League this past season tallying 60 points (20 goals, 40 assists) for the London Knights.

Boqvist is one of the more offensive-minded defenseman prospects and he reminds a lot of San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns. Boqvist’s 60 points and 8 power-play goals were the sixth-most and third-most for a defenseman in the OHL last season, respectively.

He’s such an asset at the blueline but he has to be careful that he doesn’t get caught out of position trying to play too much offense. The Blackhawks signed Boqvist to a three-year entry level deal which will only start if he plays 10 or more NHL games. If not, the contract slides to the next year until the player turns 20.

So the Hawks definitely have some flexibility on what they would like to do with Boqvist this coming season. He could elect to return to the OHL and work on a few items that the team wants him to get better at, or he could dazzle in training camp and break camp with the team.

Both Gustav Forsling and Slater Koekkoek are restricted free agents this offseason. Forsling played in 43 games last season accumulating just 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists) and had a -9 rating. Koekkoek was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in January and posted a +4 rating in 22 games last year.

He was recently re-signed to a one-year contract extension, so he will obviously be back next season. I think the Hawks let Forsling walk so there a potential opening on the defensive rotation for a new guy. That person could very well be Boqvist or it could be someone the Blackhawks elect to sign in free agency.

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So what actually happens? I think that the Blackhawks bring Boqvist into training camp and preseason but he ultimately plays another year in the OHL. Expect to see him on the Hawks roster for the 2020-2021 season.