A Blackhawks Fan’s Guide to the World Junior Championship

The 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship begins formally on Dec. 26 with games that will showcase some of the best talent in the world. There are plenty of reasons for Blackhawks fans to watch the games, including five Blackhawks prospects being involved.

Canada

The Blackhawks have four prospects on Canada’s roster: defensemen Ethan Del Mastro (an assistant captain), Kevin Korchinski and Nolan Allan and forward Colton Dach. This is an exciting showcase for Blackhawks fans to see the team’s last two top picks in NHL drafts (Allan and Korchinski, who are WHL teammates with Seattle now) and two other prospects who showed well in Chicago this past summer. Del Mastro was part of Canada’s gold medal effort in August and is expected to play top-pair minutes; his stock is skyrocketing right now. I really like his game.

Oh, and there are a couple guys Blackhawks fans will also undoubtedly want to watch on the roster here as well: Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli, the presumed top-two overall picks in the 2023 NHL Draft.

  • Dec. 26 — vs Czechia
  • Dec. 28 — vs Germany
  • Dec. 29 — vs Austria
  • Dec. 31 — vs Sweden
  • Sweden

    Center Victor Stjernborg, who the Blackhawks drafted in the fourth round (No. 108 overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft, has been named their captain. Because he plays in Sweden right now, we don’t get to see much of his game so this is a great chance to see him against top competition at his age level. It’s impressive that he’s been named the captain of a top team as well.

    Another forward worth watching on Sweden’s roster is Leo Carlsson, who is now in the top-four conversation for the 2023 NHL Draft. With so many outstanding questions surrounding Matvei Michkov because of his contract and the politics between North America and Russia right now, Carlsson has emerged as a legit candidate to be in the top three picks. And the gap between the top four and the rest of a really good draft class is significant, to keep an eye on Carlsson while you’re watching Sweden just in case.

  • Dec. 26 — vs Austria
  • Dec. 27 — vs Germany
  • Dec. 29 — vs Czechia
  • Dec. 31 — vs Canada
  • Others to Watch

    As a reminder, the Blackhawks have not only their own pick in the first round this coming year but also have Tampa’s first rounder thanks to the Brandon Hagel trade. The Blackhawks also have two picks in the second round (also Tampa’s, this from the Seabrook-Tyler Johnson deal as a sweetener) and two picks in the third round (Dallas’ third via Arizona which was acquired in a draft swap this past summer). And the Blackhawks will be looking to add picks when the draft doors open.

    So keeping an eye on other draft eligible players would be wise because the Blackhawks are going to be busy at the 2023 NHL Draft.

    Chris Peters does a terrific job of breaking down prospects and provided 15 names to watch in the coming tournament, starting with Bedard, Fantilli and Carlsson at the top. But there are others on his list that could be noteworthy for Blackhawks fans who are keeping an eye on the potential future.

    Three names that intrigue me for the Blackhawks’ later in the first round: Gavin Brindley (who plays with Fantilli and was recruited with Frank Nazar at Michigan), Slovak center Samuel Honzek and Finnish winger Lenni Hameenaho.

    written by

    Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

    more blackhawks news

    Blackhawks vs Predators – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

    The penultimate home game of the 2023-24 Blackhawks regular season is upon us. And it's against a Central Division rival who has playoff aspirations. And we're going to be treated to another NHL debut this season. Defenseman Ethan Del Mastro,...

    NHL Notes: Stanley Cup Playoffs Update, Sid’s Still Got It, Matthews 70 Watch, More

    Not long now until the Stanley Cup Playoffs get going, but there are still a few spots to be decided. Last night's NHL action saw plenty of playoff positioning at stake. We'll break down what happened on Thursday and what...

    Frozen Four, Donato’s 400, Del Mastro’s Debut, Murphy’s Back, Vlasic, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

    The University of Michigan was shut out 4-0 by Boston College last night at the Frozen Four, which means Frank Nazar's season is over. Nazar put two shots on net and won 8 of 12 faceoffs against a very good...

    What’s Next for Frank Nazar and the Blackhawks?

    On Thursday night, Frank Nazar's sophomore season at the University of Michigan came to a close when the Wolverines were shut-out 4-0 by Boston College at the Frozen Four. For his night, Nazar put two shots on net and won...

    Let’s Watch All Three of the Blackhawks’ First Career Goals From This Season

    On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks put together one of their worst periods of the entire season in St. Louis to bury themselves in a four-goal deficit. However, late in the game Landon Slaggert was able to score his first career...

    Blackhawks Prospect Aidan Thompson, Denver Advance To NCAA Championship Game

    The first game of the Frozen Four was spectacular! It took 11:09 into overtime for the game to be decided, and it was Denver's Tristan Broz with the shot that ended it. https://twitter.com/BR_OpenIce/status/1778575894774247593 Blackhawks prospect Aidan Thompson had a terrific...

    Wow! The Blackhawks Have Called Up Ethan Del Mastro

    So, this is a bit of a surprise. On Thursday morning, the Chicago Blackhawks called up defenseman Ethan Del Mastro from Rockford. What makes the move surprising is a number of factors. First, expectations are/were that Connor Murphy would be...

    2024 NHL Mock Draft: Frozen Four Two-Round Edition

    We're now in the final two weeks of the 2023-24 NHL regular season, but tonight there are two games on the ice outside the NHL that will have plenty of eyeballs from hockey fans. The Frozen Four semifinal games take...

    Slaggert’s First, 3 More Years for John & Troy, Frozen Four, Rockford Reinforcements, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

    Last night's game was the latest dull thud in a season that's had its share of highs and lows. And I've got some other thoughts on the effort last night that I'll get to in a moment. But I wanted...

    Coyotes Ugly: Updating the Ongoing Arizona Gong Show

    On Wednesday morning, I shared a Frank Seravalli report that the Arizona Coyotes may be in the process of leaving the state of Arizona. As the day continued to unfold, additional reporting from Seravalli, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period...

    Latest News

    Tyrese Maxey Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Magic – Friday, April 12, 2024

    The Philadelphia 76ers meet the Orlando Magic at 7:00 PM ET on Friday, and one of the 3-pointer over/unders available for this matchup requires three trifectas from Tyrese Maxey.Tyrese Maxey's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the MagicTyrese Maxey's over/under for three-pointers...

    Tobias Harris Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Magic – Friday, April 12, 2024

    On Friday at 7:00 PM ET, the Philadelphia 76ers play the Orlando Magic, and Tobias Harris' 3-pointer prop for this matchup requires two trifectas.Tobias Harris' Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the MagicTobias Harris' over/under for three-pointers in this game: 1.5 at...

    Prioritizing the Miami Dolphins NFL Draft: Top 3 Positions to Address

    The Miami Dolphins are poised for a pivotal offseason in 2024. They boast a young core with a bright future, but key departures on both sides of the ball have created some glaring holes. With just two picks over the...

    Justin Fields is Working on Ball Placement (Which is Great News for the Bears)

    Let me be clear out of the gate. I'm not going to make it a habit to obsessively write up Justin Fields posts this year. Fields is no longer the Chicago Bears quarterback. And with Caleb Williams on his way...

    Pre-Gamin’: Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards (6:00 CT), Projected Lineups, How to Watch, More

    The Bulls, or at least whichever of them is actually playing tonight, take on the Wizards in a game that means quite literally nothing. Let's have some fun! https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1778845326654185912 Game Info Chicago Bulls (38-42) at Washington Wizards (15-65) – 6:00...

    Mikal Bridges Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Knicks – Friday, April 12, 2024

    The Brooklyn Nets meet the New York Knicks on Friday at 7:30 PM ET, and if the Nets' Mikal Bridges connects on three 3-pointers, he'll beat his over/under.Mikal Bridges' Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the KnicksMikal Bridges' over/under for three-pointers in...

    Jordan Poole Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Bulls – Friday, April 12, 2024

    The Washington Wizards play the Chicago Bulls on Friday at 7:00 PM ET, and if the Wizards' Jordan Poole drains four 3-pointers, he'll beat his prop.Jordan Poole's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the BullsJordan Poole's over/under for three-pointers in this game:...

    Prioritizing the Kansas City Chiefs NFL Draft: Top 4 Positions to Address

    The Kansas City Chiefs, despite their perennial playoff presence and back-to-back Super Bowl wins, have some key areas to address in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. While Patrick Mahomes remains a force, a strong supporting cast is vital for sustained...

    Bulls Injury Report: Ready for Restpalooza Against the Wizards?

    If you've been anxiously awaiting more Henri Drell minutes, I've got good news for you! The Chicago Bulls' latest injury report suggests that the team will proceed with extra caution over the final two games of the regular season. And...

    Chicago Cubs Lineup: A New Series Begins in Seattle

    CUBS LINEUP — Don't shoot the messenger, but this Cubs game doesn't start until 8:40pm CT ... and it's on AppleTV+. I don't make the rules. In any case, it's been a nice long break since the frustrating series in...

    more blackhawks news