Blackhawks Sign Top Prospect with Entry-Level Deal

Frank Nazar, a promising Blackhawks prospect and the 13th overall pick in 2022, will sign his entry-level contract and join the team immediately after an impressive season at the University of Michigan, showcasing his potential despite some areas needing development.

Frank Nazar, a promising Blackhawks prospect, is set to sign his entry-level deal. He’ll be joining the team right away, as Scott Powers of The Athletic reported on Saturday. Just so you know, Nazar was picked 13th overall in the 2022 draft. His journey at the University of Michigan came to an abrupt end this Thursday. Why? Because Boston College knocked his team out in the national tournament semifinals.

At just 20, Nazar was one of Chicago’s three first-round picks that year. Interestingly, he was chosen five spots after defenseman Kevin Korchinski. Oh, and there’s this collegiate rival of his, Sam Rinzel, a defenseman from the University of Minnesota. He was picked in the mid-20s.

Born in Detroit, Nazar is known for his sharp passing. This season, he was among six Wolverines who scored at a point-per-game pace, amassing 41 points in 41 games. But, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. His defensive game lagged, with a -7 rating, making him the second-worst in that department on his team.

A bit of a rocky start for him, you could say. Nazar missed a chunk of last season because of hip surgery. It showed in his early performance, with just four points in his first seven games. But then came a game against Lindenwood in late October. Nazar exploded with three assists, igniting an eight-game point streak. This included four games where he scored multiple points.

His performance peaked when he played for Team USA at the World Juniors. There, he bagged eight assists and a +9 rating over seven games, contributing to the team’s gold-medal victory. Back at Michigan, he continued strong with 14 points in six games. Yet, his season ended on a less consistent note.

At the draft, many thought picking Nazar was a steal. He was expected to be a top-10 pick by many scouts. While he hasn’t fully lived up to those expectations, he’s shown glimpses of his potential. The Blackhawks are eager to see how he stacks up in the NHL. They’re planning to get him into at least one of the season’s final three games.

If things go according to plan, Nazar could secure a spot in the Blackhawks’ top-nine by the end of his contract in 2026. His versatility is a plus; he can play both center and wing, though wing might suit him better in the pros. Currently, he’s the second-ranked prospect in the Blackhawks’ system, right behind Oliver Moore.

The details of Nazar’s contract are still under wraps. But it’s confirmed to be a three-year deal. Once it’s up, he’ll be a restricted free agent, a crucial moment for him, Korchinski, and Connor Bedard in the team’s future.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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