Three first round picks highlight the Blackhawks’ 2022 NHL Draft
MONTREAL – There is one thing to say about the Blackhawks when it comes to their upcoming rebuild: If there is a move to benefit the future at the expense of the present, hey’ll make it.
First year general manager Kyle Davidson proved that during the 2022 NHL Draft, where he arguably made the most noise of any team in the selections.
On Thursday night, the Blackhawks made three trades to get three first round picks after starting the day without a selection at all. Alex DeBrincat was sent to the Senators for the seventh and 39th selections, then Kirby Dach went to the Canadiens for the 13th and the 66th overall pick just after the draft began.
Later in the night, the Blackhawks grabbed the 25th pick along with goaltender Petr Mrazek for the 38th overall pick.
All were moves to get the team’s system filled up with prospects as they shut the door officially on the dynasty era and Davidson shapes the next generation of Blackhawks hockey. After that, of course, there were still selections to be made in the next six rounds to make.
Here’s whom the Blackhawks picked in the 2022 NHL Draft.
1st Round – 7th Overall – Kevin Korchinski – Defenseman
The Blackhawks first pick was someone they had their eye on as they moved into the first round with the DeBrincat trade. The defenseman has shown his ability to contribute on offense with 61 assists in his season with Seattle of the WHL. During the league playoffs, he finished with six goals and 13 assists in 21 games.
1st Round – 13th Overall – Frank Nazar – Center
After going defensive with their first selection, the Blackhawks took a promising young center who fell a little later than some expected in the selections. The University of Michigan commit scored 28 goals with 42 assists in 70 games with the US National Under-18 team while also playing in 35 games with the US Developmental Program’s junior team in the USHL, scoring 15 goals along with 20 assists.
1st Round – 25th Overall – Sam Rinzel – Defenseman
Like Nazar, Rinzel was taken at 18 years old after splitting his play over the last year between Chaska High School in Minnesota and Waterloo of the USHL. The 6-4 defenseman had nine goals and 29 assists at Chaska in 27 games while two goals with eight assists in ten games in Waterloo.
2nd Round – Forwards Paul Ludwinski (39th Overall) and Ryan Greene (57th Overall)
Ludwinski joins the Blackhawks after his first season in the Ontario Hockey League where he had 16 goals and 27 assists for Kingston in the regular season with 12 points (7 goals, 5 assists) in 11 playoff games.
Greene spent last season in the USHL with the Green Bay Gamblers, his third with that team, with 19 goals and 32 assists in 59 games.
3rd Round – Forwards Gavin Hayes (66th Overall), Samuel Savoie (81st Overall) and Aidan Thompson -(90th Overall)
It was a forward-heavy third round for the Blackhawks starting with Hayes, who just completed his first year in the OHL with Flint where he scored 19 goals with 30 assists while also getting 12 points in the playoffs.
Savoie spent his second season with Gatineau Olympiques of Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 18 goals and 15 assists in 64 games.
Thompson had a team-leading 58 assists in 57 games for Lincoln in the USHL while also serving as that team’s alternate captain.
6th Round – Forwards Dominic James (173rd Overall) and Nils Juntorp (188th Overall)
James was the team’s original pick in the sixth round as he comes to Chicago after spending last season with the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
The Blackhawks got another pick in the sixth round thanks to a trade with the Hurricanes which gives them their 2023 sixth rounder. Juntorp played last season in Sweden with HV71 J20 club of J20 Nationell (44 games) and five games with HC Dalen of HockeyEttan.
7th Round – Center Riku Tohila (199th Overall)
The team’s final selection was a centerman as they drafted Tohila, who played 41 games for JYP’s U20 club in the U20 SM-Sarja in Finland.
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