On Thursday the Chicago Blackhawks selected defenseman Kevin Korchinski with the seventh overall pick, forward Frank Nazar with the 13th selection, and defenseman Sam Rinzel with the 25th pick.
Korchinski, 18, compiled 65 points in 67 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League during the 2021-22 campaign, his 61 assists ranking second among league defensemen and 65 points ranking fourth. He posted the most assists by any WHL rookie and was named to the WHL (US) Second All-Star Team. During the postseason, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native led WHL blueliners with 19 points (6G, 13A) in 25 contests.
Nazar, 18, played in 56 games with the U.S. National U18 Team of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, posting 70 points (28G, 42A). He also registered 35 points (15G, 20A) in 24 contests with the USNTDP Juniors of the United States Hockey League. A native of Mt. Clemens, Michigan, Nazar recorded nine points (3G, 6A) in six games with Team USA at the 2022 IIHF World U18 Championships, helping the team to a silver medal.
Rinzel, 18, ranked second on Chaska High (USHS-MN) in points (9G, 29A) through 27 contests during the 2021-22 campaign. He made his USHL debut with the Waterloo Black Hawks, totaling 10 points (2G, 8A) in 21 games. The Chanhassen, Minnesota native also spent time with Team SIT Financial Services (Upper Midwest HS Elite League Hockey), scoring 16 points (4G, 12A).
Chicago acquired the seventh overall selection, a second-round pick (39th overall) and a third-round pick in 2024 NHL Draft from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Alex DeBrincat. The Blackhawks acquired the 13th and 66th overall picks from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Kirby Dach. They also obtained the 25th overall selection and goaltender Petr Mrazek from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for the 38th overall selection.
Mrázek, 30, made 18 starts and won 12 games during the 2021-22 campaign with the Maple Leafs, his first season with the club. The NHL veteran was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.
A native of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Mrázek made his league debut on Feb. 7, 2013 in St. Louis. He has appeared in 295 career regular-season NHL games with four different teams, Detroit (2013-18), Philadelphia (2018), Carolina (2018-21) and Toronto (2021-22). In his career, he has posted a 2.64 goals-against average, a .909 save percentage and 24 shutouts. The netminder has also appeared in 29 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Kirby Dach was originally selected third overall by the Blackhawks in 2019 and has 19 goals and 40 assists in 152 career NHL games.
The Blackhawks made eight selections on Day 2 of the 2022 NHL Draft at Bell Centre in Montreal.
Chicago selected forward Paul Ludwinski with the 39th overall selection, obtained from the Ottawa Senators. Ludwinski played in his first year with the Kingston Frontenacs (Ontario Hockey League) during the 2021-22 season, ranking sixth on the club with 43 points (16G, 27A). He also made his postseason debut with the club, registering 12 points (7G, 5A) in 11 games.
With the 57th selection, the Blackhawks drafted forward Ryan Greene. Greene completed his third season with the Green Bay Gamblers (United States Hockey League), setting career highs in games played (59), goals (19), assists (32) and points (52).
Forward Gavin Hayes was Chicago’s 66th overall pick, playing in his first OHL season with the Flint Firebirds during the 2021-22 campaign. Hayes ranked fourth on the team in points (49), and sixth in goals (19) and assists (30). In the postseason, Hayes totaled 12 points (5G, 7A) in 19 contests.
Drafted in the third round, 81st overall, forward Samuel Savoie completed his second year with the Gatineau Olympiques (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) last season, setting career highs in games played (64), goals (18), assists (15) and points (33). He recorded one goal in seven playoff contests with the club.
Chicago selected forward Aidan Thompson in the third round with the 90th overall selection. The 20-year-old was an alternate captain for the Lincoln Stars (USHL) last season, leading the team in assists (58) and points (82) through 57 games. He also registered four assists in three postseason contests.
In the sixth round, the Blackhawks drafted forward Dominic James with the 173rd pick and forward Nils Juntorp with the 188th selection. Chicago received Carolina’s sixth-round pick (188th overall) in exchange for Chicago’s 2023 sixth-round selection. James played last season with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, notching 18 points (6G, 12A). Juntorp appeared in 44 regular-season contests with the HV71 J20 club of J20 Nationell last season, finishing second on the club with 24 helpers and 41 points. He added 17 goals during the regular season and added an assist in five postseason contests. Juntorp also appeared in five games with HC Dalen of HockeyEttan during the 2021-22 campaign where he had two goals and four assists.
With their lone seventh-round selection, Chicago drafted the 6-foot-5 Riku Tohila with the 199th overall pick. The Kalajoki Finland native posted 15 points (7G, 8A) in 41 regular-season games with JYP’s U20 club in the U20 SM-Sarja.
The Blackhawks acquired forward Liam Gorman from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Chicago’s sixth round pick (167th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft. Gorman, 22, completed his second season with Princeton University (ECAC) this year after the 2020-21 season was cancelled due to COVID-19, recording six points (3G, 3A) in 28 contests. A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Gorman was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the sixth round (177th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft.
The Blackhawks currently own nine picks in the 2023 NHL Draft. The breakdown is as follows: two First Round picks, two Second Round picks, two Third Round picks and one in each the Fourth, Fifth and Seventh rounds.
1 7 (D Kevin Korchinski), 13 (F Frank Nazar) and 25 (F Sam Rinzel)
2 39 (Paul Ludwinski) and 57 (Ryan Greene)
3 66 (Gavin Hayes), 81 (Samuel Savoie), 90 (Aidan Thompson)
4 (No Blackhawks selection)
5 (No Blackhawks selection)
6 173 (Dominic James), 188 (Nils Juntorp)
7 199 (Riku Tohila)