BN Blackhawks Prospect Watch: College Three Stars

Frank Nazar University of Michigan Chicago Blackhawks
Frank Nazar University of Michigan Chicago Blackhawks

College hockey is off and running for a lot of programs already, and good luck making sense of many of the results. The top teams in the country are struggling with their get-right games early on the calendar. The rankings are going to change wildly early in the season until we get into November and games are more regular. But thus far, some Blackhawks prospects have enjoyed some early success. So let’s jump into this weekend’s three stars from the NCAA ranks.

Star 1: Oliver Moore

On Friday night, Minnesota needed overtime to beat St. Thomas (MN) 6-5. They coughed-up a two-goal lead, allowing three in the second period before a wild third period. Moore was credited with three assists, put four shots on net and won 8 of 16 faceoffs while Sam Rinzel picked up two helpers and put four shots on net in their collegiate debuts. Moore added a fourth assist and won seven of 13 faceoffs in a 3-0 win on Saturday night.

Star 2: Frank Nazar

Nazar had one assist, four shots on net and won five of 11 faceoffs in a 7-2 win on Friday night against UMass. He came back and scored a goal (see below) with three more shots on net and won nine of 20 faceoffs in a debacle loss on Saturday night; Michigan took a 2-0 lead to the third period and lost 6-3. Nazar now has three goals — including a game-winner — and one assist in four games to start the season.

Star 3: Connor Kelley

Providence only played on Friday night and Kelley had himself an evening! The Blackhawks’ seventh-round pick in 2021 was credited with two assists, two blocked shots and was plus-5 (yes, I said five!) in a 7-1 win. Defenseman Taige Harding was credited with two shots on net in the 7-1 win over Stonehill in their home opener.

Also Noteworthy

  • Top-ranked Boston University got upset by New Hampshire 6-4 on Friday night. An absolute stunner that was a hot mess — I’m talking 79 faceoffs-level hot mess. Blackhawks center prospect Ryan Greene won 13 of 25 faceoffs in the game and put two shots on net. BU then hosted the US Development Program’s U-18 team on Saturday night and got their butts kicked 8-2. Greene led the team with seven shots on net and won five of 13 faceoffs in the loss.
  • Minnesota-Duluth needed a shootout to beat Northern Michigan 6-5 on Friday night. Center Dominic James won six of seven faceoffs and picked up an assist on the Bulldogs’ first goal of the night.
  • 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

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