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Blackhawks' Louis Crevier ‘takes pride' in reaching NHL as 7th-round draft pick

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Louis Crevier remembers the 2020 NHL Draft like it was yesterday. That's because he had an unusual experience, with COVID-19 forcing the draft into a virtual one for the first time in league history.

"That draft was so long," Crevier recalled.

By the time the seventh round rolled around, the broadcasts were barely talking about the picks. But Crevier's name was eventually called — or should I say submitted — by the Chicago Blackhawks with the No. 188 overall selection.

More than three years later, Crevier has beaten the odds and made his NHL debut last week with the Blackhawks. While it doesn't necessarily mean he's a full-time NHL player as of this moment, there aren't many seventh rounders that even sniff an NHL game let alone appear in one as quickly as he did.

"I remember saying [after the draft] like, 'Why not?'" Crevier said. "It's pretty cool of course. Second year of the draft too. It's something I'm proud of, but at the same time, it's something to get here but staying up is always the toughest thing; that's what I heard at least. But yeah, I take pride in that for sure."

Crevier, 22, offers an appealing package, and it obviously starts with his size. He's one of the tallest players in NHL history at 6-foot-8; he flirts with 7-feet on skates.

But his skating ability for his size is impressive. Alex Vlasic, his 6-foot-6 defense partner in Rockford last season, saw it up-close.

"He's obviously got all the athletic ability in the world being 6-8, and skating like he does is pretty rare to see," Vlasic told NBC Sports Chicago. "His progression over the last couple years, being drafted in the seventh round, it's crazy to see and everyone's happy for him."

Crevier (6-foot-8) and Vlasic (6-foot-6) are one of the tallest pairings in NHL history. The two of them combined are 13-feet-2.

"We're pretty much one stick away from each other at all times, people joke about," Vlasic said smiling. "I couldn't imagine it'd be fun to play against."

Crevier is a decent skater for his size, but his bread and butter is being a shutdown-type defenseman. He knows who he is as a player.

"My coach in Rockford shows me a lot of clips of Erik Cernak and maybe some Brandon Carlo clips too, just big guys who move well," Crevier said. "He's not going to show me some Cale Makar clips."

Crevier did enough in the AHL to show that he was ready to be rewarded with an NHL stint, even if it's not permanent.

"I really liked his game that I saw in the American League in Winnipeg the night before we played," Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said. "He just kept simple. He’s big. He’s in the shot lanes and uses his reaches and he makes smart decisions. He never gets himself in trouble or in too much trouble. I think he knows what he is, and now we just want to see him continue to be consistent and play that same steady game."

Off the ice, Crevier seemingly always has a smile on his face. He knows where he came from and what a privilege it is to play in the best league in the world.

"It's been really busy in my mind for the past couple of days but it's been super fun," Crevier said. "It's never a bad day when you're up here, so it's cool."

Because he's as likable a teammate as there is and works hard, good luck finding someone to say a bad word about him. He has a lot of people in his corner.

"I'm super happy for him," Vlasic said. "He's an unbelievable guy. Everybody calls him Sweet Lou. He's just the nicest guy to be around. He's always positive. Everybody from our team last year is happy for him and rooting for him."

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