On Wednesday morning, the Chicago Blackhawks announced the team has signed their first pick from the 2022 NHL Draft, defenseman Kevin Korchinski, to his entry-level contract.
According to the release, the deal runs through the 2024-25 season ($950,000 salary cap hit).
“Signing Kevin is an exciting moment and another step in us building organizational depth,” Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said in the release. “We knew that we wanted Kevin to be a big part of this team’s future, so we’re happy to have him within our system, developing in this early part of his professional career. His confidence and positive attitude paired with his size will be assets as he continues to grow his game in the WHL this upcoming season.”
The Blackhawks acquired the seventh overall pick from Ottawa in the trade that sent Alex DeBrincat to the Senators just before the 2022 NHL Draft. They used that pick on Korchinski, who is still expected to play another year (or two) for Seattle in the WHL.
Scott Powers broke down each of the Blackhawks’ picks for The Athletic recently and quoted Matt O’Dette, Korchinski’s coach with the Seattle Thunderbirds, extensively. Here’s part of what O’Dette had to say:
“For a kid that size, you don’t appreciate the elusiveness and the quickness that he has until you see it at ice level. He’s hard to pin down. He’s in and out of a spot in the blink of an eye. He has a chance to be an extremely special player, especially with the way the game is being played nowadays, some of the skill level of some of the defensemen in the NHL, the Cale Makars and Adam Foxs and (Miro) Heiskanens. If you have an opportunity to draft a player that potentially can be that one day, I think you got to do it. I’m not saying he’s Cale Makar yet, but there’s definitely some similar qualities. It’s definitely exciting.”