ANAHEIM — It’s been a memorable week for Adam Boqvist. He scored his first goal as a pro on Wednesday, got called up to the big leagues on Thursday, made his NHL debut on Saturday and scored his first career NHL goal on Sunday.
[Watch: Adam Boqvist's first NHL goal]
And his first goal was exactly how you imagine scoring it as a kid: top shelf against one of the league's best goaltenders over the last decade-and-a-half in Ryan Miller.
"Of course, it's a dream," Boqvist said following a 3-2 overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. "You always looked up to scoring first goal and playing in the NHL, so it happened. I didn't see where it went in, but I did see it went by the post, so yeah, it was good to see it go in."
Even more fitting? Kirby Dach, who also needed only two games before scoring his first NHL goal, was the player who immediately picked up the puck for Boqvist. The future of the Blackhawks before our very eyes.
While they're being careful with which situations to put Boqvist in, the Blackhawks haven't been afraid to give the 19-year-old rookie defenseman a lot to handle in the early going.
He and Duncan Keith were the only two Blackhawks defensemen who saw the ice in an overtime that lasted 4:43 on Saturday against the Kings. Boqvist took three shifts and logged 2:14 of ice time during the 3-on-3 action, although he was on the ice for the game winner.
Boqvist has also become the new quarterback of the second power-play unit and he's the lone defensemen on it, which shows the confidence the Blackhawks have in his ability to handle that kind of responsibility.
"He's been really good," head coach Jeremy Colliton. "Obviously, he does bring that dimension to the power play. He can finish, he's got a great release. His movement is fantastic back there. He could have scored in overtime [against Los Angeles], too, so clearly he's having an impact on the game, but I think defensively he's been quite good. We feel pretty comfortable with him out there. Obviously, we're trying to protect him when we can, but he's made a really good impression so far."
Boqvist has never been a player to lack confidence, and you can see it in his game. He may have tried to keep it simple in his NHL debut, but he wasn't afraid to show what kind of player he is and can be on Sunday.
At even strength against the Ducks, Boqvist was on the ice for 16 shot attempts for and seven against, as well as nine scoring chances for and two against, according to Natural Stat Trick. He finished with six shot attempts (three on goal) and logged 15:44 of ice time.
It's been a whirlwind past few days and there will be growing pains along the way, but the Blackhawks' top defenseman prospect isn't looking out of place.
"I don't think so much out there," Boqvist said. "It's happened so quick and everything. There's so much in my head right now. I got called up four days ago. So I'm just going to go with the flow."
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