Sunday, July 22, 2018

31 Teams in 31 Days - Chicago Blackhawks

One of my favourite cities in the U.S., it's time for Chicago.

1. Mackenzie Entwistle - Hamilton Bulldogs
Recent acquisition by the Hawks in the Hossa deal. I really like Entwistle, if you recall from his draft year. His size, skating ability, and tenacity through all three zones makes him an ideal 3rd liner at the NHL level today. Reminds me a ton of Austin Watson from his OHL days. Injuries were a bit of an issue this year, as Entwistle missed time with rib and hand injuries. But he saved his best for last with 10 goals in the OHL playoffs, helping the Bulldogs reach the Memorial Cup. In the playoffs, I think we really saw him gain confidence in his ability to carry the puck and be a go to offensive player at this level, and hopefully that carries into next season. One thing that really needs to improve is his faceoff ability. The Bulldogs are going to need Entwistle to be a center next year in their top 6, but his faceoff percentages have been quite poor through his OHL career thus far. If he wants to be that guy out there in the last minute of a game protecting a lead, he needs to be more reliable on the dot. Overall, I'm very excited to see what he can do next season, especially with powerplay time. I think he hits the point per game mark for the first time in his career.

*Adam Boqvist - London Knights
The 8th overall pick this year, Boqvist was a 2017 Import Draft selection by London and it has since been announced that he will be playing for the Knights next year. He will receive a ton of ice time and will get terrific coaching from a London staff who has improved the defensive play of many offensive blueliners who have come through their system in recent years. Boqvist will play a prime role, but just how much he's relied upon will depend on whether Evan Bouchard makes Edmonton or not. I don't want to set the bar too high, but I would expect Boqvist to be at least a 55 point player next year with a strong supporting cast and a solid powerplay group.

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