Five Blackhawks Prospects Set to Begin CHL Semifinal Series
We’ve reached the time of the year when the three leagues that make up the CHL — the WHL, OHL and QMJHL — are in their semifinals. It’s an exciting time of year for fans of junior hockey in Canada and folks like me/us who are following prospects of their favorite NHL team. And the Blackhawks have five prospects still playing.
The champions of the three leagues will play in the Memorial Cup, which will be held at Sandman Centre in Kamloops, BC, from May 26–June 4, 2023. The Kamloops Blazers (WHL) will be the fourth team in the tournament as the host team.
Games in the semifinal rounds begin on Friday and Saturday for the Blackhawks’ five prospects. Here’s how things line up so you can plan your schedules around the games.
Seattle Thunderbirds — WHL
Seattle is facing Kamloops in the Western Conference Championship Series in the WHL. They’re an absolute wagon right now, loaded with NHL prospects who have been drafted already and a number of players whose names will be called in late-June this year.
The Blackhawks will be represented by Kevin Korchinski, Nolan Allan and Colton Dach in the series. One other player to watch (if you’re so inclined) on Seattle’s roster as a possible draft target for the Blackhawks is center Gracyn Sawchyn. He had 58 points in 58 games this season and climbed from the No. 42 North American skater to No. 24 in the final rankings by NHL Central Scouting.
Sarnia Sting — OHL
Defenseman Ethan Del Mastro and the Sarnia Sting will face the London Knights in the Western Conference championship series in the OHL. Del Mastro was the captain in Mississauga before he was traded to Sarnia after the World Juniors and he finished his season with 38 points (5 goals, 33 assists) in 30 regular season games with Sarnia. He has eight assists in his first 10 postseason games with Sarnia.
Gatineau Olympiques — QMJHL
Forward Samuel Savoie and Gatineau will face top-seeded Quebec in the semifinals of the QMJHL, beginning Friday. Savoie, a third-round pick (No. 81) by the Blackhawks in the 2022 NHL Draft, scored 26 goals with 33 assists in 60 games for Gatineau during the regular season. He has two goals and five assists (and 14 penalty minutes) in nine playoff games this spring.