Chicago Blackhawks: Forgotten Defensive Prospect

Chad Krys was taken 45th overall in the 2016 draft by the Blackhawks. He was expected to be a great offensive defenseman who could play top-four minutes as well as on the power play. He’s still only 21 years old and just turned pro. He’s been said to be a better pro than an amateur player by Rockford IceHogs coach, Anders Sorenson.

The past three seasons, Krys has played for the Boston University Terriers. In 105 total games for BU, he recorded 20 goals and 38 assists. This past season he also spent time with the Blackhawks American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. He totaled four assists in nine games and had a really strong showing.

Krys seemed to have broken out late last year with the Rockford IceHogs and should see top-four minutes as well. He could play with the likes of Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin.

What are Krys’ Strengths and Weaknesses?

Blackhawks Prospect Chad Krys
BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 4: Boston University Terriers defenseman Chad Krys (7) passes the puck around the boards to an open teammate. During the Boston University Terriers game against the Northeastern Huskies on February 4, 2019 at TD Garden in Boston, MA.(Photo by Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Krys is excellent on his skates. He’s very swift and fluid in his motions. His top-end speed is also very good. On the offensive side of the puck, he has very good instincts. He runs the point whether that be shooting or passing the puck. His shots are strong but he needs to know when to use it. Hockey IQ/sense is a very strong part of his game as well.

Two areas where Krys struggles is in the defensive end and his physical play. He does have great positioning and an active stick in the defensive zone but struggles to knock players off the puck. In fact, Krys gets knocked off the puck a lot. He needs to put more weight on as he is currently listed at 5’11” and 185 pounds. He struggles in the corners, in front of the net and on the boards. His struggles in the defensive zone and physical game cause him to create turnovers as well.

What is Krys’ ceiling at the NHL level?

Blackhawks prospect Chad Krys
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 25: Boston University Terriers defenseman Chad Krys (7) drives the puck towards the Cornell goal during the first period of the game between the Boston University Terriers and the Cornell Big Red on November 25, 2017, at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by John Kavouris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

I still believe in Krys even though defenseman like Boqvist, Ian Mitchell and Beaudin have passed him on the Blackhawks prospect depth chart. He also had a great showing at the Blackhawks development camp from July 15th to July 19th. I think if he can add a few pounds to his frame and work out a few kinks in his defensive game he could be a future top-four defenseman on the Hawks. I also think with his offensive prowess Krys could be the quarterback of the Blackhawks second power-play unit. The 21-year-old should only mature and get better with the IceHogs and hopefully make the Blackhawks soon.

stats-from: Elite Prospects

quote-from: The Athletic (subscription required)

photo credit to Getty Images

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