Adam Boqvist

Blackhawks 2019-20 season in review: Adam Boqvist

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USA Today

Blackhawks 2019-20 season in review: Adam Boqvist

The NHL put its 2019-20 season on pause March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but remains hopeful to award the Stanley Cup at some point. Although it's unclear if or when it could return, NBC Sports Chicago will recap the season of each Blackhawks player to date in our "season in review" series. Next up is Adam Boqvist.

When Adam Boqvist was drafted by the Blackhawks with the No. 8 overall selection in 2018, he admitted he was at least two or three years away from being a full-time NHL player. But his timeline got sped up in Year 2.

After one (breakout) season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, Boqvist turned pro and started the season in the American Hockey League with the Rockford IceHogs. He struggled in the first month, but still earned an NHL call-up in early November that reeked of desperation.

The reality is, the Blackhawks were struggling mightily out of the gates and they needed a boost in some way, shape or form. While Boqvist wasn’t necessarily recalled to serve as the savior, patience was running thin and the Blackhawks' management group felt they needed their top defenseman prospect helping out the big club. It was all hands on deck.

To his credit, Boqvist didn't look out of place. He scored his first career NHL goal in just his second game and was given power-play responsibilities. But after the Blackhawks got back on track, Boqvist was sent back to Rockford to continue developing at his own pace.

One month later, Boqvist was called up again. But this time it was based out of necessity after Duncan Keith (groin) and Olli Maatta (illness) were sidelined going into a three-game road trip. And with the season-ending injuries to Calvin de Haan and Brent Seabrook within a week span, the Blackhawks saw an opportunity to give Boqvist a chance to work through the growing pains at the NHL level.

Boqvist appeared in 41 games with the Blackhawks before the league was put on pause, burning the first year of his entry-level contract and pulling him one year closer to free agency. The Blackhawks were probably hoping to avoid doing that for both Boqvist and Kirby Dach in the same season, but the team had legitimate playoff aspirations and having them around would only help their chances.

Boqvist registered 13 points (four goals, nine assists) and averaged 16:13 of ice time prior to the pause. The offensive talent is evident with the 19-year-old Swedish defenseman and his defensive game is improving. But his body is still developing, and the Blackhawks must show the proper amount of patience if they want Boqvist to blossom into the player they believe he can become.

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Jeremy Colliton, Blackhawks take issue with hit on Adam Boqvist

Jeremy Colliton, Blackhawks take issue with hit on Adam Boqvist

It was a tight game late in the second period between the Blackhawks and Blues. St. Louis had a 1-0 lead and the intensity was steadily progressing. Then... mayhem.

Blackhawks defenseman Adam Boqvist skated to the boards in the Hawks' D zone to play the puck with around five minutes remaining in the frame and Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist tried to hit him but missed and caught Boqvist up high. 

A line brawl broke out at the next whistle.

Hawks forward Drake Caggiula fought Blues defenseman Vince Dunn. It was a spirited, close bout with Dunn landing the better punches at the end of the tussle, knocking Caggiula to the ice. 

"It’s good to have that in the lineup," Duncan Keith said after the game. "I think that team toughness is something that we talked about for a while and it’s nice to have that. Sticking up for one another."  

The forward was slow to get up following the scrap, but was throwing his arms up to excite the crowd on his way off the ice. 

"He’s a feisty player for us," Keith said of Caggiula. "He’s been doing that all the time ever since he got here from Edmonton. We need that and that was good to see. Does a lot of little things like getting to the front of the net."

Sundqvist received a major penalty for elbowing that was later reviewed and changed to a minor, giving the Blackhawks a two-minute power play instead of five. Boqvist and Caggiula did not come out for the third period and the Blackhawks announced they were ruled out for the game, Caggiula with a right hand injury and Boqvist undergoing further evaluation.  

Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton provided more details following the game. Boqvist is in concussion protocol and Caggiula's hand injury was confirmed. 

Colliton wasn't happy with the contact on Boqvist.

"Yeah, well I think it’s an unnecessary hit," Colliton said. "There’s nothing wrong with finishing your check, but there was no reason, no reason for the contact to his head. It was totally unrelated to the play. It was late. 

"He was trying to get him. So he did. And we end up losing an important player for us, for the rest of the game. Puts extra stress on our defense who have played a lot, especially the top guys. And we end up with a two-minute power play. Doesn’t seem on the right level if you ask me."

"Looked reckless to me," Keith said of the play in question.

Boqvist missed Friday's 2-1 loss in Detroit with a right wrist injury. Sunday had marked his return to the lineup. He was riding a three-game point streak with five assists prior to missing Friday's game. 

The Hawks went on to lose 2-0 to the Blues are six points out of the second wild card spot with 13 games remaining in the regular season. 

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3 Takeaways: Blues shut out the Blackhawks, who may have more injury issues

3 Takeaways: Blues shut out the Blackhawks, who may have more injury issues

The Blackhawks lost to the St. Louis Blues 2-0 on Sunday and Drake Caggiula and Adam Boqvist left the game early with injuries. Here are three takeaways: 

Historic broadcast 

Sunday night marked the first NHL telecast done by an all-female broadcast team and production crew. 

Kate Scott was the play-by-play broadcaster joined by U.S. Olympic gold medalists Kendall Coyne-Schofield and AJ Mleczko, who served as analysts on the NBC Sports broadcast of the contest that aired on International Women's Day. 

Sportscaster Kathryn Tappen and three-time Canadian Olympic gold medalist Jen Botterill anchored from the studio with producer Rene Hatlelid and director Lisa Seltzer leading the game production.

Out of control 

St. Louis forward Oskar Sundqvist got Blackhawks defenseman Adam Boqvist up high in a collision into the boards late in the second period, sparking a line brawl.

Hawks forward Drake Caggiula fought Blues defenseman Vince Dunn. 

Sundqvist received a major penalty for elbowing that was later reviewed and changed to a minor. Boqvist and Caggiula did not come out for the third period and the Blackhawks announced they were ruled out for the game, Caggiula with a right hand injury and Boqvist undergoing further evaluation. 

Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton provided more details following the game: Boqvist is in concussion protocol and Caggiula's hand injury was confirmed. 

Boqvist returned to the lineup after missing Friday's 2-1 loss in Detroit with a right wrist injury. He was riding a three-game point streak with five assists prior to missing Friday's game. 

The game

Corey Crawford made his ninth consecutive start in net for the Blackhawks, but couldn't get any goal support. The Blues had won the previous three contests against the Hawks this season heading into the final one on Sunday.

Crawford saved 24 of 26 shots and Jake Allen stopped all 27 he faced. 

Robert Bortuzzo scored top shelf on Crawford at 6:41 of the second period and Alex Pietrangelo scored at 5:37 of the third period. It was the first time in NHL history the Blues swept the Blackhawks during the regular season. 

Chicago remains six points out of the second wild card spot. 

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