2018 NHL draft results: Blackhawks select goaltender Alexis Gravel with No. 162 pick
It’s the first goaltender the Blackhawks picked up in the draft.
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.