Blackhawks Among the Few Teams Who Have *NOT* Signed Their First Round Draft Picks Yet

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Kevin Korchinski Blackhawks NHL Draft

Blackhawks Among the Few Teams Who Have *NOT* Signed Their First Round Draft Picks Yet

Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson has been consistent in his talk about how he plans on rebuilding the Chicago Blackhawks. The organization is going to take its time developing players from the draft to their NHL debuts, and their 2022 draft class is the first group of prospects for Davidson to show that plan in action.

With the trades of Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach, and a move back into the first round at the expense of adding Petr Mrazek, Davidson added three first round picks to his arsenal this year after starting the day the 2022 NHL Draft began with none.

Now that it’s a couple weeks past the draft, we’ve started to see other NHL organization begin making financial commitments to their first-round picks. But the Blackhawks have not signed Kevin Korchinski, Frank Nazar or Sam Rinzel — their three first-round selections.

Here’s an update of the contract statuses of the top 15 overall picks from the 2022 NHL Draft.

The 2022 Top 15

  1. Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, Montreal Canadiens – signed July 13
  2. Simon Nemec, D, New Jersey Devils – signed July 14
  3. Logan Cooley, C, Arizona Coyotes – attending the University of Minnesota (unsigned)
  4. Shane Wright, C, Seattle Kraken – signed July 13
  5. Cutter Gauthier, LW, Philadelphia Flyers – attending Boston College (unsigned)
  6. David Jiricek, D, Columbus Blue Jackets – signed July 13
  7. Kevin Korchinski, D, Chicago Blackhawks – playing for Seattle (WHL) (unsigned)
  8. Marco Kasper, C, Detroit Red Wings – signed July 13
  9. Matthew Savoie, C, Buffalo Sabres – signed July 15
  10. Pavel Mintyukov, D, Anaheim Ducks – signed July 16
  11. Conor Geekie, C, Arizona Coyotes – signed July 18
  12. Denton Mateychuk, D, Columbus Blue Jackets – signed July 13
  13. Frank Nazar, F, Chicago Blackhawks – attending the University of Michigan (unsigned)
  14. Rutger McGroarty, RW, Winnipeg Jets – attending the University of Michigan (unsigned)
  15. Jonathan Lekkerimaki, RW, Vancouver Canucks – playing for Djurgårdens IF (HockeyAllsvenskan) (unsigned)

As you can see, nine of the top 15 overall selections have already signed their three-year, entry-level contracts with their NHL clubs. Two of the remaining six are the top two selections of the Blackhawks.

The good news: one of the other three unsigned picks, McGroarty, will join Nazar at the University of Michigan this fall. That program has done a very good job of turning out top NHL talent in recent years and these two will figure prominently into their 2022-23 season.

Four of the six unsigned prospects from this summer’s top 15 are headed to college. Three of those will be playing in the Big Ten; Nazar and McGroarty will face Cooley when they battle Minnesota.

The only unsigned prospect headed back to junior in Canada is the Blackhawks’ top pick, Korchinski.


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Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab