VANCOUVER - Get to know Chicago's 43rd overall selection Alex Vlasic.
Raised in Wilmette, Ill., Vlasic grew up a Blackhawks fan and idolized defenseman Duncan Keith as a young player. The defenseman played for the Chicago Mission before joining the U.S. National Team Development Program. He's committed to play at Boston University in the fall.
"For the hometown team to select me is kind of crazy," he said shortly after being picked. "I've got goosebumps."
Vlasic is the cousin of San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, though 14 years his junior. Naturally, Marc-Edouard is his favorite NHL player.
The 6-foot-6, 198-pounder excels in transition and has been noted by scouts as a smooth skater despite his size.
According to Corey Pronman, Vlasic "understands how to attack, how to move pucks, when to jump into lanes and how to use his long wingspan to break up plays. I've seen several occasions where he does a give-and-go off the blueline with his D partner where he pinches after his pass and receives it for a scoring chance. You don't often see a big man make that play or make a high-end pass through a seam. That is Vlasic at his best, creative puck-mover with solid defense who uses his size to lean on his checks."
Video: Alex Vlasic on Draft Day