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2020 Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25: Alex Vlasic at No. 16

The former second-round pick heads into another NCAA season at Boston University.

COLLEGE HOCKEY: FEB 03 Beanpot Tournament - Boston College v Boston University
Boston University Terriers defenseman Alex Vlasic chases down the puck during a game against Boston College
Photo by Mark Box/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Second City Hockey’s 2020-21 preseason Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the organization’s top 25 players under the age of 25 by Oct. 1, 2020. The rankings are determined by a composite score from three SCH writers and community member, L_B_R. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. All four ballots will be released after the series is completed.

Alex Vlasic is a very different defenseman than the young members of the 2020-21 Blackhawks blue line. Ian Mitchell, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin all play a more mobile game. getting the puck up the ice quickly to escape their own zone. While Mitchell and Beaudin are better in their own end than Boqvist, each brings offensive ability to their game.

At 6-6, Vlasic is the type of player that can provide a counter to those instincts, making for a balanced D pairing with any of the aforementioned trio. The numbers from Vlasic’s freshman season at Boston — just four points in 34 games (all assists) — show that the Vlasic’s game is more defensive-minded than the other three members of the Blackhawks’ young defensive quartet.

Scoring goals has never been a major part of Vlasic’s game. He scored just six in his draft year between the US Developmental Program and the USHL, so that wasn’t high on the list of reasons why the Blackhawks made him a second-round pick in 2019. Instead, Vlasic projects as one of the future Chicago blue-liners who can be relied upon in tough defensive situations, someone the Blackhawks can rely on for penalty kill minutes and to eat up tough minutes.

Vlasic uses his size exceedingly well, allowing him to shut down passing lanes and thwart odd-man rushes. Although he likely won’t ever became a major offensive threat, Vlasic’s slapshot can become more of an asset if it develops more precision. Despite his size, Vlasic still has the ability to move around the ice with decent mobility.

The eyes on Vlasic during the ‘20-21 hockey season will be looking for the sophomore defenseman to take another step forward in his development.

What’s next

Vlasic is waiting for the NCAA season to start for Boston University. Their start date is currently set for Dec. 4. Boston University will play a 20-game all-Conference schedule against the Hockey East. Vlasic will continue to be an important member of the Terriers blue line and will be joined by fellow Blackhawks prospects Jake Wise and Drew Commesso.