The Athletic Ranked Their Top 30 Blackhawks Prospects

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The Athletic Ranked Their Top 30 Blackhawks Prospects

Chicago Blackhawks

Over the past week, Scott Powers has been revealing The Athletic‘s top Blackhawks prospect rankings. They broke the list up into a six-part series, culminating on Friday with the top ten (in two parts).

What struck me about their list is a few of the differences between their rankings and ours; for the sake of comparison, you can read our end-of-season top 20 list here. But more than that, the impact of Kyle Davidson’s first draft class as the general manager in Chicago is glaringly apparent.

Their rankings are below, with the names of players who have already signed a professional contract with the Blackhawks in bold.

  1. Kevin Korchinski, D
  2. Lukas Reichel, F
  3. Frank Nazar, F
  4. Arvid Söderblom, G**
    Söderblom is an RFA this summer.
  5. Wyatt Kaiser, D
  6. Alex Vlasic, D
  7. Cole Guttman, F
  8. Colton Dach, F
  9. Paul Ludwinski, F
  10. Ryan Greene, F
  11. Sam Rinzel, D
  12. Isaak Phillips, D
  13. Ilya Safonov, F
  14. Drew Commesso, G
  15. Ethan Del Mastro, D
  16. Jalen Luypen, F
  17. Nolan Allan, D
  18. Samuel Savoie, F
  19. Gavin Hayes, F
  20. Aidan Thompson, F
  21. Dominic James, F
  22. Antti Saarela, F
  23. Alec Regula, D**
    Regula is an RFA this summer.
  24. Filip Roos, D
  25. Jaxson Stauber, G
  26. Ryder Rolston, F
  27. Landon Slaggert, F
  28. Louis Crevier, D
  29. Victor Stjernborg, F
  30. Michal Teplý, F

Davidson made 11 selections in his first draft class last summer, and nine of them are represented on this list. In fact, four of Powers’ top ten are from the 2022 NHL Draft with Korchinski and Nazar, Chicago’s first two picks, being among the top three overall.

One-third of this list are defensemen. In the past — before last year’s forward-heavy draft and a few solid signings — it was hard to come up with forward prospects worth ranking for the Blackhawks. So the influx of talented forwards is already appearing to pay dividends.

I’m also pleased to see the Blackhawks have more than one relevant goaltender on a list. For years there weren’t any netminders of note in the organization. Now, it appears Söderblom will be ready to matriculate his way onto the NHL roster while Commesso and Stauber hold it down in Rockford. Both Söderblom and Stauber already have NHL service time on their resumes.

It’s also worth noting that two players — Guttman and Roos — were free agent prospects signed by Davidson. Roos was his first European free agent signing as general manager of the Blackhawks.

Among the players who aren’t signed, six are expected to play in college next season; Rinzel will skate at the University of Minnesota after a solid season in the USHL at Waterloo this past year. The other unsigned players were in the QMJHL (Savoie), Sweden (Stjernborg) and Russia (Safonov).

Only two players on their list — Söderblom and Regula — are pending restricted free agents this summer. That means all of the other signed players on this list will be part of the organization for at least next year… assuming they aren’t traded out.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab