The Blackhawks selected left-handed defenseman Alex Vlasic of the United States National Team Development Program with the No. 43 overall pick in the second round in the NHL draft Saturday in Vancouver.
Vlasic offers plenty of size at 6-foot-6 and 198 pounds. He tallied 27 points (four goals, 23 assists) in 61 games this past season. He had one assist in seven games at the under-18 World Championship. He will join fellow Blackhawks prospect Jake Wise at Boston University.
From Jared Book of SB Nation’s Habs Eyes On The Prize:
He skates well, and is able to make outlet passes to exit his zone. He also is able to enter the zone on his own. He has a shot that can make him a weapon on the power play, but it’s not spectacular and may not be one to constantly beat goaltenders. He’s a very smart player in the offensive zone and is able to create chances for his teammates. He played forward up until age nine, so he had a chance to develop some puck skills.
The Wilmette native is the first Illinois native and Chicago Mission product to be drafted by the Blackhawks since 2015 sixth-rounder Roy Radke of Geneva. Vlasic is the younger cousin of Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and his older sister, Emma, played at Yale.
Alex Vlasic is a steal by 11 spots based on Collin Cudmore of Silver Seven’s draft value rankings, which consolidates 60 different scouting resources and converts draft values based on research by Michael Shuckers. Vlasic’s “lower” value was at 32.
Vlasic is the seventh defensemen to be taken by Chicago in the first two rounds in the last three years. Chad Krys, a 2016 second-rounder, was the first of the group to be taken by the Blackhawks then Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell followed in the first and second rounds, respectively, in 2017 before last year’s first-rounders Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin.
Jokiharju is the only one among the group to have played in the NHL so far with 12 assists in 38 games this past season. Krys had four helpers in nine AHL games last season after his junior season at Boston University. Both Beaudin and Boqvist have signed and the former is expected to play in the AHL next season, while Boqvist could play in the AHL or return to the London Knights in the OHL. Mitchell is expected to sign next spring after his junior season at the University of Denver.
Vlasic is the fourth No. 43rd selection in franchise history, joining defenseman Mike O’Connell (1975) and wingers Mike Blunden (2005) and Brandon Saad (2011).