5 prospects the Chicago Blackhawks could promote down the stretch, including forwards Frank Nazar and Landon Slaggert

The Chicago Blackhawks could be due for a wave of prospects making their way to the NHL for the first time, but general manager Kyle Davidson has played coy.

“Those are going to be the conversations, yes,” he said while addressing reporters after the trade deadline Friday.

The most likely candidates to wear Hawks uniforms are Notre Dame’s Landon Slaggert and Michigan’s Frank Nazar III, perhaps as soon as late March or April, depending on when their college seasons end.

“As players finish up, when the time comes to have those conversations both internally and externally, we will have those,” Davidson said. “But it’s an important time of the year for them.

“That’s a conversation for another day when there are no more games for them.”

The Hawks have 18 games remaining in the season after their 4-1 loss to the Capitals in Washington on Saturday night. At 16-43-5, their 37 points are the fewest in the NHL.

Here’s a breakdown of several of the Hawks’ top prospects and where they stand.

Frank Nazar, forward

Acquired: 2022 draft, first round

His eight assists helped the U.S. win the IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal. He racked up four assists during an 11-3 romp over Switzerland.

“It was just me playing my normal game,” Nazar told the Tribune. “I just tried to make the best place possible in the position I’m in. And that day, the passes that I was making, the guys were just bearing in on the end of it.”

U.S. coach David Carle was more impressed with the day-to-day things he noticed from Nazar.

“I was really excited for the opportunity to see him live and in person and work with him, and what I saw was a player who is very detailed with their habits, certainly off the ice, wants to watch video, wants to learn, wants to get better,” he told the Tribune. “I saw a lot of that out of him, which I always appreciated as a coach, and he played a big role for us killing penalties, taking big faceoffs.”

Carle said that on a star-studded roster, some players are required to less glamorous roles than what they’re used to.

“He didn’t get a lot of power play time and (he’s) a player that certainly can slot into a power play,” he said. “… He really just accepted that role and tried to do the best he could with it and do what the team needed them to do on every given day.

“So I have a lot of respect for him. … He was a joy to work with.”

The Michigan sophomore came back from Sweden and put up two goals in his first game back with the Wolverines. Later in January, he registered a total of three goals and two assists in back-to-back games against Wisconsin.

“He went to that tournament … and came back with a ton of confidence,” Davidson said. “Maybe it was the win, maybe it was the role, playing with different teammates, different scenery, but (he) came back with a ton of confidence, and, yeah, (he) seemed to take his game to another level.

“Just confidence with the puck, carrying it, making plays, it all really stepped up a level once he got back from Sweden.”

Nazar admitted he wasn’t as confident going into the World Juniors, thinking it was going to be “like all these guys hitting you and stuff.

“And then once you get out there, you realize that I’m stronger than these guys (or) just as strong,” he said. “And it kind of gives you more confidence to make these plays and just know that, ‘OK, I’m going to look at the guy on the other team across from me and I know that I’m going to work harder than him and beat him and just make better plays and be able to play my game.’ ”

Landon Slaggert, forward

Acquired: 2020 draft, third round

The 6-foot, 190-pound Golden Domer recorded a career-high 20 goals and 11 assists in 36 games.

Slaggert could’ve become a free agent if the Hawks didn’t sign him by Aug. 15, but the Hawks nipped that scenario in the bud Sunday by signing the 21-year-old to a two-year, entry-level contract ($912,500 salary-cap hit).

Slaggert, a South Bend native, has served as an alternate captain since 2022 and helped the Irish make two NCAA Tournament appearances.

The product of the U.S. National Team Development Program (2018-20) played in the IIHF World Junior Championships in 2021 and 2022, helping the U.S. win gold in ’21.

Drew Commesso, goalie

Acquired: 2020 draft, second round

After Commesso helped Boston claim the Hockey East Championship and reach the NCAA Frozen Four, he signed a three-year, $3.625 million contract with the Hawks in April 2023.

He kicked off his pro career in Rockford, where he has a 11-12-4 record with a 2.81 goals-against average and .900 save percentage, splitting time with Jaxson Stauber.

“That’s also not the easiest spot to step into, but he’s been really solid and the team’s been playing well,” Davidson said. “And for young goalies, it’s all about experience, just getting those reps, and he’s certainly getting that.”

Ethan Del Mastro, defenseman

Acquired: 2021 draft, fourth round

Del Mastro has posted seven goals and 22 assists in 52 games with Rockford, including three game-winning goals. He represented the IceHogs at the AHL All-Star Game in February.

The 6-foot-4, 21-year-old blue liner has two years left on his entry-level deal, and he seems primed to get a crack at the NHL sooner rather than later.

“It’s always nice when you can see your players, one, take a step up to another level as Ethan did this year in the AHL, and then play big minutes and carry that through,” Davidson said.

“And he’s obviously (an) AHL All-Star, playing a bunch of different situations, which is really key for the development down there and something we are able to provide in Rockford and something that he’s grabbed hold of and ran with.”

Gavin Hayes, forward

Acquired: 2022, third round

Hayes really popped as the Hawks prospect with a big season in 2022, when he recorded 41 goals and 40 assists in 66 games with the Flint Firebirds.

He started off hot this season with 19 goals and 17 assists in his first 27 games before making the U.S. World Juniors team.

Hayes was ejected during a Dec. 31 preliminary-round game after kneeing Slovakia’s Milan Pisoja, which could’ve proved costly for the U.S., but Gavin Brindley scored a short-handed goal.

Hayes found himself down in the Americans’ pecking order and had two assists in seven games.

After returning from Sweden, the Soo Greyhounds traded for him, and he has put up 17 goals and 15 assists in 22 games, including an overtime goal Wednesday in Davidson’s native Sudbury, Ontario.

Davidson hopes the next big challenge for Hayes is the Ontario Hockey League playoffs with the Greyhounds, who’ve already clinched a spot.

“It’s great to see (prospects) in those pressure situations, those higher leverage situations,” he said. “You hope that they rise to the occasion, but even going through it is valuable too.”