After making three separate trades, two of which were dramatic, to get back into the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft, the players Chicago selected in the first round were obviously going to get a lot of attention at this week’s development camp. But a third rounder has been turning heads.
Aidan Thompson has been really impressive this week at Chicago’s development camp. Chicago selected Thompson in the third round (No. 90 overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft and he’ll head to the University of Denver this fall, where he’ll join an impressive roster filled with NHL draft picks.
Thompson was an over-age draft pick by the Blackhawks this season; he turned 20 on Feb. 18 and has two full seasons in the USHL under his belt already. He scored 24 goals and added 58 assists in 57 games with the Lincoln Stars last season. That performance put him on NHL radars, and ultimately led to him hearing his name called by the Hawks.
He’s listed at 5-11 and 181 pounds but everything we’ve seen from Thompson this week is that he plays the style of game that general manager Kyle Davidson wants from the Blackhawks moving forward. He plays with pace, but has appeared to be under control while driving the action almost all of the time. He’s hard in the corners and doesn’t let opponents work easily.
Thompson has also shown good vision in open ice and has a knack for finding the puck. While we hate making comparisons to past Blackhawks players, we’ve all fallen in love with the role played by guys like Andrew Shaw, Ryan Hartman and Brandon Hagel in the past. And that feels like the approach Thompson takes to the ice. He isn’t as much the agitator that those three could be at times (at least from what we’ve seen this week), but he’s a pain in the ass to play against and competes hard.
Here are a few videos from his week far: