Blackwell's arrival in the NHL with the Nashville Predators is a tale of persistence.
The 5-foot-9 center, a native of Lawrence, Massachusetts, was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round (No. 194) in the 2011 NHL Draft. He opted to attend Harvard, but his career was marred by a concussion that forced him to sit out for a season. After finishing his career at Harvard in 2015-16, Blackwell signed with San Jose of the American Hockey League for the 2016-17 season. He signed with Rochester of the AHL for 2017-18 and finished with 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists) in 61 games. That was enough to attract the attention of the Nashville Predators, who signed him to an NHL contract on July 3, 2018.