With the 8thpick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks selected defenseman Adam Boqvist from Brynäs IF in Sweden. Boqvist is known for his ability to move the puck well, quick feet, and a strong shot.
At only 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, Boqvist is undersized, but he makes up for it with his playmaking ability. His speed allows him to get up ice like a forward and make difficult passes. Some analysts said that he had one of the best shots from the blue line. Boqvist helped Sweden win the gold in the World U-17 Hockey Challenge, scoring 4 goals. He also scored 14 goals and tallied 10 assists for a total of 24 points in Sweden this past season. Adam Boqvist has said that he models his game after fellow Swede Erik Karlsson, which has shown in his offensive production.
Despite this, critics say that Boqvist could use work on the defensive end. Although his speed helps him keep up with forwards, he lacks size and needs to be more aggressive. I would like to see him take a big step forward in his defensive production, which Joel Quenneville will stress on him when he does eventually get to Chicago.
Chicago addressed a big need at defenseman with their first pick. Duncan Keith will be 35 in July and Brent Seabrook just turned 33 this past April, then there is a significant drop-off in talent on the back end for the Blackhawks. Chicago selected Finnish defenseman Henri Jokiharju in 2017 with their first pick and he will be in the lineup early next season. It seems that Stan Bowman is trying to build up the back end with some youth and he made a good selection in Adam Boqvist in the draft.