You Know Who’s On A Heater? Kevin Korchinski
When the Blackhawks traded Alex DeBrincat to Ottawa before the 2022 NHL Draft, GM Kyle Davidson made the first bold proclamation that he was indeed going all-in on the rebuild. And he tied a big part of his legacy as a general manager to the young defenseman he got in return: Kevin Korchinski.
The Blackhawks selected Korchinski with the seventh overall pick in the draft, the first of two picks they received in the DeBrincat trade. Automatically, that put the eyes of many on Korchinski — not only because he is the first pick made by Davidson in an NHL draft as GM but also because he was instantly the top prospect in the organization.
Over the course of the season, Korchinski has shown that he is an offensively dominant defenseman. He has 55 assists and eight goals in 47 games for the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL this season, helping lead them to the US division championship in the WHL. There are ten NHL drafted players on the Seattle roster, including Blackhawks prospects Colton Dach and Nolan Allan.
All three of the Blackhawks’ prospects on the Seattle roster were named to Canada’s roster for the winter edition of the World Juniors. Dach’s tournament ended prematurely because of a shoulder injury but all three were awarded gold medals at the end of the tournament.
As a younger player on the roster — Korchinski doesn’t turn 19 until June 21 — he was used as a bottom pair defenseman by Canada in the tournament. For some, that wasn’t enough.
Since returning to Seattle’s lineup, he’s been on a roll.
In fact, Korchinski’s heater has lasted two full months.
With one assist in Tuesday night’s game against Kamloops, Korchinski extended his personal point streak to 16 home games as well; he has 25 points in those 16 contests.
Over his past 28 games with the Thunderbirds, Korchinski has registered a point 25 times. That’s right: he’s only been without a point in three of 28 games. (He registered a point in 15 of 19 games before going to the WJC.)
Korchinski has six goals and 32 assists in his past 28 games (1.36 points per game). He has three times as many multi-point games (nine) as he does pointless games since the start of the new calendar year.
This is the player the Blackhawks wanted to badly they needed a top-ten overall pick in a DeBrincat trade to get him. The question now becomes whether or not Korchinski, who has already signed his entry-level contract, will be in Chicago next season or if he’ll return to Seattle for another dominant season and, possibly, a run at a second World Juniors gold.