Okay so this tweet isn't it. The Blackhawks had a grand total of ZERO prospects make Team Canada for the upcoming WJC. That is okay though. This is a weird make-up tournament with a lot of players who would be ineligible if it were to be held during Christmas break like usual. I fully expect Kevin Korchinski to be in the mix in a prominent role this winter when this event gets back on it's normal place in the calendar. The Blackhawks had 6 prospects participate in the camp. I don't think any of them, other than Korchinski, have a particularly high ceiling (I have doubts about Del Mastro after seeing his skating in person at prospect camp, for example).
For this tournament though...Team USA is LITTERED with Blackhawks prospects. Landon Slaggert, Wyatt Kaiser, Dom James, and Frank Nazar will all be in the mix. Commesso likely would've been the starting goalie, but he opted out of the tournament to work on his own game and get ready for a crucial college season for his development. Dom James looks like he could be an NHL guy someday because of his skating and fearlessness on the ice. He popped at prospect camp. Slaggert...will see, probably a 4th line guy. I LOVE Wyatt Kaiser. I think he has top 4 potential.
Nazar is obviously the kid to watch here though. Electric skater. Probably the best skating forward I've seen the Hawks draft since Nick Schmaltz. I am interested to see if Nazar will be a center or wing at this level. My gut says that he will be a wing in the NHL some day. If he is a guy who looks like he has a quick path to the NHL and shines against the best players in his age group then the Blackhawks officially have foundational type piece that they can point to as we all look at 2025.
This next stretch for the Blackhawks is going to be somewhat foreign to the generation of fans who are in their 20s now and were raised on the dynasty. The most important Blackhawks going forward are going to be playing all over the world in little places like Geneva, IL, Duluth, MN, etc. I'll do my best to keep people up to speed on these guys and their development as we crawl through this river of shit like Andy Dufrense the next couple of years.
We talked about how the year 2025 could shape up in this week's episode of Redline Radio.
I like to use that little mocking phrase that "it's always darkest before it is completely black". It's been nothing but darkness 1901 W Madison for years now, but I am hoping that Nazar and Kaiser can act as someone striking a match in the distance that gives us a glimmer of light and warmth to sustain us in this year as we await the torch that could be Bedard or Fantilli.