New Trier alum Alex Vlasic drafted by the Blackhawks

Vlasic consistently inspired by family in his hockey career

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New Trier alum Alex Vlasic drafted by the Blackhawks

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Wilmette native and former New Trier student Alex Vlasic will not have to go far to start his professional hockey career. This past June, he was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

He was ecstatic at the possibility of joining the Chicago Blackhawks.

“The hometown team is something you can’t really beat,” Vlasic told the Chicago Tribune. “In the future it would be so special to see my friends and family up in the stands rooting for me in my hometown. Playing for the Hawks would be crazy.”

Hockey wasn’t always Vlasic’s passion. In fact, in an exclusive interview with the United States National Team Development (USNTDP) media, Vlasic said that he was a reluctant beginner.

“I started skating when I was three as my mom and dad got me into it,” he said. “I have been told by them that at first I didn’t like it. I refused to go on the ice but eventually, I got on and wanted to skate and then play hockey.”

A USNTDP graduate, Vlasic transferred from New Trier his junior year to a Michigan-based hockey boarding school.

During his two years at USNTDP, Vlasic earned comparisons to NHL superstars such as Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins given his 6’5”, 198-pound frame as a defenseman.

In terms of his time at New Trier, Vlasic’s former adviser Robert Bollweg described him as “hard working, friendly and sincere in advisery.”

Vlasic will not play for the Chicago Blackhawks this coming season. He will start his NCAA career with the Boston University Terriers this fall and make his pro debut sometime in the next couple seasons.

Vlasic is not the only one in his family to make it to the NHL. His cousin Marc-Édouard Vlasic, was drafted by San Jose Sharks 35th overall in the 2005 NHL Draft and has spent his entire career there, making it to the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals before they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In addition to Marc-Édouard, Vlasic’s sister, Emma, a forward at Yale, was his inspiration and role model.

“[Emma] is very serious about hockey. I train with her and workout with her in the summer,” he said to the USNTDP. “She definitely takes it seriously. She has been a great role model and has set a good example for me.”

It also appears that the Blackhawks are just as excited to have Vlasic as he is to be a part of the team. In an interview with the Chicago Sun Times, General Manager Stan Bowman said the defenseman is what the team was looking for.

“He makes it look really easy. He covers so much ground, he’s a very good skater and he’s a big, big guy, long reach, really good defensive instincts. It’s hard to get by him,” Bowman said.

Vlasic started his hockey career at the age of 3 and played for many notable Chicago area hockey teams, including the Wilmette Braves and the prestigious Chicago Mission.

The Mission has produced impressive NHL alumni including Vinnie Hinostroza, Ryan Hartman, Nick Schmaltz and Dustin Byfuglien.

In terms of this coming fall, Vlasic joins a very talented Boston University Terriers team that is a perennial contender in both the Hockey East Conference and NCAA Tournaments, winning their last Hockey East Championship in 2018, and NCAA Tournament in 2009.

But Vlasic will not be far from home in January when he and the Terriers take on his former USNTDP in an exhibition game in Plymouth, Michigan on Jan. 3 at 7pm EST.

While he plays on the East Coast with the Terriers, both fans and staff of the Blackhawks, along with the North Shore community, will anxiously await his contributions to the Chicago Blackhawks defensive core.

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