Picking in the sixth round and 162nd overall, the Chicago Blackhawks added a goaltender by selecting Alexis Gravel from the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL.
A 6-foot-4, 223-pound Berlin native, Gravel moved to Canada when he was 6 and soon found himself immersed in hockey. And he couldn’t hide his excitement after being drafted:
Alexis Gravel says this is "probably the best day of my life." pic.twitter.com/U8ZIuj9x1S— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) June 23, 2018
Gravel played in 39 games for Halifax last season, posting a 3.38 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage in a league where goals come early and often. In eight postseason games, he had a 2.70 GAA and .917 save percentage. One of those strong playoff periods is detailed in this highlight video:
Goaltender expert Cat Silverman of The Athletic offered this scouting report on Gravel soon after Chicago made the pick:
Chicago selects Alexis Gravel. A guy who still needs a lot of work in terms of flexibility and agility, but his a really solid foundation when it comes to his spatial awareness and plays a game that's very positionally-based. Very, very good fit for Chicago goaltending system.— Caatta Silverman (@catmsilverman) June 23, 2018
Gravel’s selection follows a pattern by Chicago general manager Stan Bowman to draft a goaltender in an even year. Seven of the eight eight netminders drafted by Bowman have been selected in an even year. Johan Mattsson (2011) is the lone exception.