Kyle Davidson went all in on his vision this summer, so it’s nice to see some of his all-in moves representing the Blackhawks on a prominent prospect ranking this morning.
- The Athletic‘s NHL prospect guru Scott Wheeler put together his annual Top 50 drafted NHL prospects ranking. The Blackhawks are represented well by a trio of prospects on the list (only the Stars, Sabres, and Jets have four prospects listed).
- Wheeler’s criteria for prospects on this list are that the prospects are; 1) under 23 years old, 2) not yet considered NHL-full timers, and 3) either signed to an NHL contract or selected in the entry draft without either of those rights having expired.
- Frank Nazar is the first Blackhawks to appear on the list at No. 26. Wheeler raves about Nazar’s elite speed, his play-making ability, and his wrist shot that will make him an elite scoring center. He also cautions that Nazar may take more time than others on the list to reach his ceiling but doesn’t doubt him reaching it.
- Nazar checked in at No. 3 on our BN Blackhawks Top 20 Prospect Rankings, but I tend to lean towards Wheeler’s assessment that Nazar is the best of the bunch when it comes to Blackhawks prospects, at least when it comes to how high Nazar’s ceiling is compared to the other two that appear on Wheeler’s list and hold the top two spots on our list.
- Kevin Korchinski follows Nazar on Wheeler’s list, checking in at No. 30. Wheeler calls Korchinski a “long, smooth-skating, point-per-game defenseman” who was “one of the most improved players in the 2022 class” last year. Wheeler called Korchinski a smooth puck handler who can create on offense and use make stops on defense and calls him a fearless playmaker who isn’t afraid to make something happen.
- We have Korchinski No. 1 on our list, and there’s nothing wrong with liking Korchinski more than the others as he gives plenty of reason to.
- Lukas Reichel checks in at No. 41. Reichel was the AHL’s only under-20 player to average a point-per-game pace, and his time with the Blackhawks came with improvements during each stint in Chicago. Reichel will be the first of these three to eventually graduate from this list, as he’ll likely have an opportunity to become a full time-NHLer this season.
- Regardless of their order of appearance, it was nice to see the Blackhawks well represented on the list and another testament to the quality of the 2022 draft class.
- In a New York Rangers mailbag by The Athletic’s Arthur Staple, there is some Patrick Kane trade discussion.
- A reader posed this question to Staple: “Come trade deadline, who goes to Chicago for Kane: Kravtsov or Kakko packaged with the first-round pick?“
- Here’s what Staple had to say: “It may not even cost that much if Kane only wants to be a Ranger. Could be just one young forward plus a young defenseman, then maybe a pick to a third team to eat some cap space.“
- Vitali Kravtsov was the ninth overall pick of the New York Rangers in the 2018 NHL Draft, but Kravtsov hasn’t reached his potential in New York. After failing to make the Rangers roster out of camp last fall, he refused an AHL assignment and was loaned to Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL last season. Kravtsov tallied 13 points in 19 regular season games during his stint in the KHL, and after he signed a one-year deal with the Rangers this summer, New York GM Chris Drury called him a player that they’re still excited about who has “all-world talent.”
- Kaapo Kakko was the second overall pick of the 2019 NHL Draft for the Rangers, but he has been a slow work in progress for the Rangers thus far. Still, there’s plenty of ceiling there for Kakko, and a change of scenery might help him begin to find it.
- The thought process in Chicago is that a Patrick Kane trade would net Kyle Davidson another first-rounder in the loaded 2023 NHL Draft, where they already have two. Still, Staple opines that if Kane picks New York as his desired landing spot, the Rangers could get away with flipping two former high draft picks with upside to the Blackhawks and a pick to a third team to reduce Kane’s cap hit.
- Kane could realistically force Davidson’s hand at the trade deadline, and if he does, New York seems like a logical place. It provides Kane with a few things I’m sure will be high on his list, a shot at winning, close to home, and he’ll be reunited with Artemi Panarin. That’ll be an interesting idea to watch and consider moving forward.
- JFresh ranks the top 5v5 goal scorers in the NHL:
- The Blackhawks made the Buddy Robinson signing official this morning. Robinson is on a one-year, two-way deal.
- Matthew Tkachuk joined Linda Cohn on SportsCenter to discuss why he wanted out of Calgary and the blockbuster deal that sent him to Florida.
- I like it, Picasso:
- Blackhawks’ coach Kendall Coyne’s husband is reportedly heading to Chicago to provide the Bears with more OL help:
- Well, this is pretty interesting!
- That’s it for today!
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