Chad Krys made the transition from the United States development program to college hockey this past season. With an increase in his defensive play along with his strong offensive mindset, the Chicago Blackhawks 2016 second-round draft pick moves up one spot from last year’s rankings to No. 11.
Birth date: April 10, 1998
Acquired via: 2016 NHL draft, 2nd round (45th overall)
Most recent stop: Boston University (NCAA)
Size: 5’11, 185 pounds
As a freshman, Krys had five goals and six assists in 39 games for Boston University. Krys, who is touted as an offensive-minded defenseman, decided to focus on improving his defensive game with his first season for the Terriers.
“He’s always been a really good, gifted player and had the puck an awful lot. But most kids as they climb the hockey ladder, they haven’t had to defend a lot because they’ve had the puck a lot. At the higher level you have to play both ends of the rink,” BU head coach David Quinn told CSN Chicago. “He had better defense, particularly off the rush and he did a better job down low defending. He also did a better job getting involved offensively.”
Krys wasn’t the only young player on the Terriers, who had nine freshmen in the lineup. However, BU was able to qualify for the NCAA tournament before falling to eventual national runner-up Minnesota-Duluth in the West Regional.
The 5-foot-11, 185 pounder faced some adversity as he was among the final roster cuts for the United States’ World Junior Championship team despite being on the team the year before. Team USA defeated Canada to win the gold medal without Krys.
What’s next in 2017-18?
Krys will be a key member to BU’s defense. The Terriers will look to return to the Frozen Four for the second time in three years. He was sent home earlier this summer by USA Hockey for precautionary reasons, but figures to make the world junior team this year. If he makes big strides in his defensive game next season, the Hawks might look to sign him at the season’s end or during the summer after the team’s prospect camp where they’ll be able to get a closer look at him.