Adam Boqvist

Adam Boqvist absorbing as much as he can from Blackhawks veterans in first training camp


Adam Boqvist absorbing as much as he can from Blackhawks veterans in first training camp

When development camp rolled around in mid-July, all eyes were on No. 8 overall pick Adam Boqvist, who had immediately become Chicago's top prospect.

That hasn't been the case in training camp.

We're one week in and the storylines have been dominated by Corey Crawford's status, Connor Murphy's back injury that could now sideline him up to 12 weeks and what it means for the defense, Henri Jokiharju's chances at making the big club and the new forward lines, most notably Brandon Saad being put with Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz.

Why? Because all the attention in September is how the Blackhawks are going to bounce back after missing the postseason for the first time since 2007-08. And also, because Boqvist may still be 2-3 years away from playing in the NHL on a full-time basis.

Still, the Blackhawks very much are monitoring his progression this week and view him as a big part of the future. They got their first glimpse of Boqvist in game action in Tuesday's preseason opener vs. Columbus, which admittedly wasn't his best game —  he was on the ice for six shot attempts for and 16 against at even strength, the worst differential on the team — but the most important part of it was simply getting a feel for the pace and the size of the players he's going up against.

"I was a little nervous when I saw Seth Jones, those types of players, I've looked up to them, so that was a little bit [nerve-wracking]," Boqvist said. "But you're there for one thing, so go out and play your best game.

"I think I did pretty well out there. The game was not the best one, but a preseason game is a preseason game, so I hope I can [make] some steps."

Asked how important it was to actually get thrown into a game rather than a team practice or scrimmage, Boqvist didn't undermine it even though it was only a preseason game.

"It's huge," he said. "It's not like back home in Sweden at the juniors. It was a huge difference. How you can defend on smaller ice and when you should go or not go. I've learned a lot from the older guys here and hope they can help me this season."

From development camp to team practices and scrimmages to preseason games, coach Joel Quenneville is impressed with what he sees early on and had some high praise for the 18-year-old defenseman.

"Good, good," he said. "We liked him. We think that he can make some real special plays. Real good patience and play recognition. High end. Terrific shot. Deceptive as well.

"Watching him in the summer as well, he's got a great level of skill, play recognition, patience with possession of the puck. He's going to learn quickly that you got bigger guys, guys that know how to play and hold onto the puck and how to defend those situations in tight areas and with possession against you, so that's one of the learning curves that he's going through. But overall, he's what you call smooth as [Duncan Keith] says or [Patrick Kane] says."

Boqvist will be playing in Thursday's preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings, and will likely play a larger role in it with the top guys on the blue line staying home. It could also be his last one, with the OHL's London Knights season beginning Friday.

The Blackhawks want to make sure Boqvist is maximizing his experience here while he is around the Duncan Keith's and Brent Seabrook's, before taking everything he learned with him to London ahead of a crucial year of development.

"It's so cool to be around these NHL players," Boqvist said. "I try to enjoy so much here and take all the stuff I can from the guys here, so hope they can help me."

Defending champion Blackhawks reveal loaded roster for Traverse City prospect tournament


Defending champion Blackhawks reveal loaded roster for Traverse City prospect tournament

Before officially getting into the swing of things for the 2018-19 campaign, the Blackhawks will get a chance to view their top prospects in a game-type setting — several of them for the first time — against other high-end prospects across the NHL when they participate in the Traverse City tournament from Sept. 7-11.

The Blackhawks roster includes 25 players (14 forwards, eight defenseman and three goaltenders) of drafted players, signees and amateur tryout invitees, highlighted by 2018 first-round picks Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin, 2017 first-round selection Henri Jokiharju and prospects Victor Ejdsell, Blake Hillman and Dylan Sikura, all three of whom got a brief taste of the action in Chicago last season.

The tournament serves as an opportunity for these players to make a strong impression heading into training camp, which Alex DeBrincat did a year ago when he led the Blackhawks to the title after scoring five goals in four games, including the overtime winner in the clincher.

"It's good for their development," Rockford head coach Jeremy Colliton, who will serve as the team's bench boss for the second straight year, said after last year's tournament. "You want to play in games that mean something. Yeah, it's a rookie tournament everyone's going to forget likely tomorrow, but we want to win everything we do. We want to compete like it's life or death in everything we do."

The tournament consists of eight teams split into two divisions of four. Each team plays each other once in a round-robin format before squaring off on Tuesday, Sept. 11 to determine the final tournament ranking, with the winners of each division meeting in the championship game on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Check out the full Blackhawks roster below:

Blackhawks defensemen Gustav Forsling undergoes wrist surgery

Blackhawks defensemen Gustav Forsling undergoes wrist surgery

The Blackhawks announced on Tuesday afternoon that defensemen Gustav Forsling had surgery on his wrist and is expected to miss 14 weeks.

The 14-week timeline puts Forsling's return around sometime in November.

The Swedish native has played in 79 games with the Blackhawks with five goals and 13 assists.

Last season, Forsling played in 41 games before being sent down to the Rockford Ice Hogs, the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate.

Since Forsling will miss the start of this upcoming season, it’s likely he will start the year in Rockford. The Blackhawks will feature Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brandon Manning, Connor Murphy, Jan Rutta and Erik Gustafsson manning the blue the lines.

Forsling will also have some competition when he returns with the likes of newly-drafted Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin and last year's first two picks Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell all vying to make the Blackhawks roster in the near future.