Blackhawks

Saad slips onto 23-man roster again

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Saad slips onto 23-man roster again

In September of 2011, Brandon Saad got the best surprise of his young hockey career, making the Chicago Blackhawks roster out of training camp. On Thursday, for his second consecutive Blackhawks camp, he got the nod once again.
Saad made the Blackhawks 23-man roster, the group that will travel to Los Angeles to play the Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings on Saturday afternoon. For Saad, its a dream come true. Again.
It definitely (feels great), Saad said as he packed up for the Blackhawks flight to L.A. today. Confidence-wise its good, and I feel more comfortable up here.
Saad was one of several Rockford players who got the call-up early in the Blackhawks abbreviated camp. He was coming off a strong week with the IceHogs, and he earned AHL Player of the Week honors for it. While Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig were assumed nods to stay with the Blackhawks they had been among forward lines all week Saad wasnt a shoo-in.
Still, his work in last years camp and in the few games he played in a Blackhawks uniform gave the team brass an idea of what he could do. Coach Joel Quenneville said earlier this week that Saads potential was huge, and reiterated that today.
We saw it last year in training camp. Hes got some special skills and does a lot of things a lot of guys cant do: protects the puck, sees plays and makes plays, Quenneville said. He had some good and OK stretches in Rockford, and the last week or so did some things that really caught your attention. He can play with some top players as well.
Quenneville, however, wouldnt say that Saad was definitely in Saturdays lineup. He also wouldnt specify where hed fit in if he did, but it would likely be on the third or fourth lines.
Weve seen some top players over their careers start on the fourth line, Quenneville said. You look at the history of the (Montreal) Canadiens, it was a work-your-way-up-the-ladder type of thing. With (Saad), hes capable of playing in that role and could be inserted with johnny or someone up there, based on how he plays and based on his production. Right now were happy to have him starting here.
Saad isnt overly concerned with where he fits in at the moment. Hes here, and the rest is up to him.
Either way, its a huge step for me, he said. Its a short camp and Im able to make the trip. Its a process and I have to keep playing well.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Round 1 of the 2018 NHL Draft.

They discuss the pair of puck-carrying defensemen that the Blackhawks selected on Friday, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin. When can we expect to see these first-round picks play in the NHL?

Boyle also goes 1-on-1 with Boqvist and Beaudin. The guys spoke with Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville on Friday.

The guys also share their biggest takeaways from those interviews, which includes your daily Corey Crawford update and Quenneville appeared excited that the team has plenty of cap space to spend in free agency.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27

DALLAS — Despite taking Adam Boqvist with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks took a second defenseman at No. 27 with the selection of Nicolas Beaudin.

Beaudin is a 5-foot-11, 172-pound defenseman who prides himself on playing strong at both ends of the ice and tries modeling his game after Torey Krug of the Boston Bruins.

"I’m a two-way defenseman," Beaudin said. "I can provide offense, too. I’ve got a great IQ. I think in my zone I’m just getting better and better."

Beaudin is also a left-handed shot, which is something the Blackhawks could use more of in the organization along the blue line when it comes to impact-type players.

"Nicolas is a very efficient defender," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "He’s got a really nice skill set. He makes the game look pretty easy. He’s a smooth player, not a lot of panic to his game. He’s a good skater so when he has to turn back and get to the puck he can get there first. Usually he just gets his setup and makes the simple play.

"You watch him play and he makes it look really easy. He’s not a guy that’s getting run over a lot. He’s not a real big player, but he uses his brain really well and he had over a point a game, too. He’s got a good feel for making plays and scoring points."

The 18-year-old registered 69 points (12 goals, 57 assists) in 68 games with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL, and added three goals and eight assists in 10 postseason contests.

Beaudin is the third defenseman the Blackhawks have taken in the first round the last two years, with Henri Jokiharju and Boqvist being the other two.

"It’s a winning culture in Chicago," Beaudin said. "They won a lot. I know they’ve got some young guys coming in. For sure in the next few years I want to earn my place and I want to try to learn a lot from a guy like Duncan Keith."