Immediately following the Blackhawks’ 4-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in their preseason game tonight, news broke that the Blackhawks are NOT sending Adam Boqvist to London. Instead, he will stay with the team until further notice.

Although Adam Boqvist is “straight outta” the 2018 NHL Draft, you probably wouldn’t know that by watching him play. Boqvist has had a strong offseason and a great showing through 2 preseason games. Many sportswriters and sports personalities are saying the exact same thing. Adam Boqvist looks like he belongs out there. He has even received high praise from Coach Q himself.

I mean, if you’re getting such high praise from Coach Q as a brand spanking new rookie in the NHL, you must be doing something right.

Why It Makes Sense For Adam Boqvist To Play In NHL This Season

Will we really see Adam Boqvist in the NHL this season, and why? The answer is YES! — and for many reasons. There have already been some serious injuries to the Blackhawks’ NHL defensemen corps. Gustav Forsling underwent wrist surgery during the offseason and he is still out until November at the earliest.

Besides the injury to Forsling, Connor Murphy also sustained a serious long-term back injury.

Right off the bat, the Blackhawks are down two key players on defense. This means two spots are up for grabs, which plays right into Adam Boqvist’s hands. Besides the injuries to Forsling and Murphy, the defense is also suffering from another major issue. Just flat out sucking and playing terribly. To the point where it’s hard to watch any time the puck crosses the blue line of the Blackhawks’ defensive zone.

The Blackhawks gave up the 8th most goals last season and didn’t improve very much, if at all, this offseason. However, the Blackhawks ended up addressing their Achilles heel in the last two NHL Drafts. They drafted Henri Jokiharju in the 2017 NHL Draft, and then, drafted both Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Although taking a year to develop with the London Knights seems like the most logical path to take, it is not exactly necessary. It makes sense for Boqvist to play this season if he is truly ready, and in my opinion, he does look ready.

Adam Boqvist Has Made His Presence Felt This Offseason

Whether it be in a practice, a scrimmage, or a preseason game, Boqvist has capitalized on every opportunity he has been handed. If you’re looking for an example of Adam’s work ethic, look no further. Here, he works with Marcus Kruger in a board battle drill during practice.

As you can see, Boqvist is not afraid to get physical and play the boards. What really impressed me in this video is the fact that he had good inside positioning for most of the exchange with the crafty veteran, Kruger.

Tonight, in the 2nd preseason game against Detroit, Adam Boqvist had a very strong showing. Boqvist is known more for his offensive prowess, but he is rapidly improving on the defensive end. Here, you can see him prevent a potential breakaway opportunity.

Another great sign that I’ve noticed is Coach Q trusts him enough to let him run the Power Play and keeps giving him ice time. What you want to see out of rookies and young players is gradual, consistent improvement — day-to-day and week-to-week. Boqvist is doing exactly that and it truly has been fun to watch.

What Should We Expect From Adam Boqvist Going Forward?

The Blackhawks signed Adam Boqvist to a 3-year Entry Level Contract this offseason so they can have a hands-on role in his development. The current plan of action after a successful offseason through two preseason games is to keep him with the team. Boqvist will be with the team until further notice and Coach Q isn’t ruling out seeing him in the regular season.

Adam Boqvist talked about his progress after the game tonight. The thing that really stood out to me is not the fact that he played well, it’s the fact that he’s staying humble throughout this whole process. He understands what he does well and what he needs to work on. To be able to have this kind of self-awareness as an 18 year old amazes me.

Since Adam Boqvist is on Year 1 of his ELC, he can only play 9 games in the NHL before he loses a year on his contract. As of right now, all we can expect from Boqvist is 9 games — nothing more, nothing less.

We will know more about the team’s plans by the end of the preseason, but this is great news for Blackhawks fans who have been longing for any type of good news. I now have newly found optimism for this season and you should as well, all thanks to our budding Swedish superstar.

For more Blackhawks news and updates, follow the author @Certified_TonyG on Twitter.