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Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25 for 2018: Chad Krys at No. 13

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The defenseman continues his steady development at Boston University.

Brad Repplinger - Second City Hockey

It’s no secret the Chicago Blackhawks have stockpiled defensemen in their prospect system. Chad Krys isn’t in the elite tier of that group after the Hawks drafted four blueliners with their first four picks in the last two drafts. However, Krys shouldn’t be an afterthought after a strong sophomore season at Boston University.

Position: Left-handed defenseman

Birth date: April 10, 1998 (age 20)

Acquired via: 2016 NHL draft — 2nd round

Most recent stop: Boston University — NCAA

Size: 5’11, 185 pounds

Contract: Unsigned

Last year’s ranking: No. 11

Breakdown

There were high expectations for Krys heading into his sophomore campaign at BU, and he delivered. He increased his point total by 16 from his freshman season in three fewer games with 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists). The looming negative for Krys is his exclusion from the United States’ World Junior Championship team for a second straight year after he played in the 2016 tournament.

Krys enters his junior season with a new coach in Albie O’Connell, who was appointed to the position after David Quinn left for the same role with the New York Rangers. O’Connell is familiar with Krys having served as BU’s associate head coach since 2015.

O’Connell told Scott Powers of The Athletic last month the key to Krys’ success is playing simple like the defenseman did in the second half of the season. The BU coach emphasized Krys’ footwork and how it “allows him to make good decisions.”

Krys’ development has taken longer than the Hawks and most have thought it would, but the team still is expected to sign him after his junior season. He’s one of only three defenseman among the 16 selected in the first two rounds in 2016 to have not signed an entry-level contract. Krys’ BU teammate and Nashville prospect Dante Fabbro and Columbus’ Andrew Peeke of Notre Dame are the others.

What’s next in 2018-19?

Krys will likely be paired with Fabbro on the Terriers’ top line. The duo will try to help BU get over the hump and back to the Frozen Four for the first time since 2015 after losing in the regional finals round the past two seasons.