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Blackhawks NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports and analysis originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
MONTREAL — A recap of the Blackhawks' selections in the 2022 NHL Draft and their scouting reports, including analysis from director of amateur scouting Mike Doneghey.
Round 1, pick No. 7: Kevin Korchinski defenseman
What you need to know: Korchinski, 18, registered 65 points (four goals, 61 assists) in 67 games last season with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League. His 61 assists ranked second among league defensemen and 65 points ranked fourth. He also led all WHL blue liners with 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 25 postseason contests.
Scouting report: Korchinski is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound left-handed shot defenseman who likes to skate with the puck and play in transition. He said he tries modeling his game after Shea Theodore, who's been in the Norris Trophy conversation over the last few years.
Player reaction: "It was surreal. I didn’t really see it coming. And just being with my family and experience that with them, it’s unbelievable. So yeah, it’s awesome."
Analysis from Doneghey: "He's an unbelievable playmaker with the puck, gets up ice fast, he gets back for pucks fast, is really good on the power play. He's different than a lot of the defensemen we've drafted in the last few years. He's really puck-friendly. He'll be a first-unit power-play guy, projects to be a first-pairing defenseman, can eat minutes. He's got that long body. So I still think a ceiling is there. Character references, even from the teammates that we looked at this year. He's a rink rat. He's there early shooting pucks, nicknames for everybody; he's a hockey junkie."
Round 1, pick No. 13: Frank Nazar, center
What you need to know: Nazar, 18, recorded 70 points (28 goals, 42 assists) in 56 games for the United States National Under-18 team. He also compiled 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 24 games with the USNTDP Juniors in the USHL, and registered nine points (three goals, six assists) at the 2022 IIHF World Under-18 Championships on Team USA, which took home a silver medal. He is committed to play at the University of Michigan for the 2022-23 season.
Scouting report: Nazar, who's 5-foot-10, 180-pounds and carries a right-handed shot, transitioned from wing to center about a year and a half ago and didn't skip a beat. He said he's trying to emulate Brayden Point, who's one of the best two-way forwards in the NHL.
Player reaction: "I was talking with my family about it, with my advisors, that the team I wanted to go to is a team that's rebuilding and wants more younger guys to get in there. This is a great opportunity for myself to get in there and make a stand and push for one of the top spots, and that's what I'm going to try to do."
Analysis from Doneghey: "Easy player to like. You've heard me say speed, speed, speed. He can absolutely fly. He makes quick plays under pressure and he's not afraid to drive the middle of the ice on the rush, bring people with them and then bounce the puck out left or right. A lot of utility. He didn't get a lot of power-play time this year because their top unit was excellent. Very good on the penalty kill and character, again, through the roof. Checks a lot of boxes, leadership material."
Round 1, pick No. 25: Sam Rinzel, defenseman
What you need to know: Rinzel, 18, registered 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 21 games with the Waterloo Black Hawks after recording 38 points (nine goals, 29 assists in 27 games with his high school team Chaska High in Minnesota. He also spent time with Team SIT Financial Services of the Upper Midwest HS Elite League Hockey, where he scored four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in 18 games. He will play for Waterloo next season and then the University of Minnesota in 2023-24.
Scouting report: Rinzel is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound right-handed shot defenseman who prides himself on playing a two-way game. He calls himself a "very good skater" who can get up and down the ice.
Player reaction: "I couldn't believe it. I had maybe a little bit of a feeling that that was the team that had the most interest in me, but I never knew. I was kind of feeling they were gonna take a D, but for them to pull the trigger on me, I'm very fortunate."
Analysis from Doneghey: "We watched him in high school and it was just there was so much to like, because of his frame and his skating ability is smooth and high end. Needs to put on some weight. Confident he'll do it. He's more on the longer path, but there's just so much to mold with him. The good pieces are there — the skating, the size, the right shot. He's a little more puck-friendly than maybe some of the guys that we've taken."
Round 2, pick No. 39: Paul Ludwinski, center
What you need to know: Ludwinski, 18, recorded 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) in 67 games last season with the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL. He also added 12 points (seven goals, six assists) in 11 postseason contests.
Scouting report: Ludwinski is a 5-foot-11, 183-pound left-handed shot forward who can be a middle-six type center or top-line winger. He believes he’s got “the best motor in the draft” and “brings it every night.”
Player reaction: “Just pure excitement. You dream about this day 10 years ago, but you never really feel it until your name gets called. When they actually called me, it was a little bit of a shock. Not the pick, but just to actually hear this day. My younger self would be in tears if this is where he saw me. It’s a dream come true. My mom is probably crying a little bit upstairs right now. To think how proud they are of me, it just makes me feel good.”
Analysis from Doneghey: "Paul is a two-way centerman. Was on Shane Wright's team, he was the third-line center in that group. They bumped him up to wing quite a bit if they felt they needed to get Shane going a little bit. He's got some snarl in his game, inside, good offense. I think his offensive numbers will be better when he gets more opportunity next year, whether Shane's there or not, he might move up into that role. He's very good on the penalty kill. Oozes character. He's got that look in his eye, like you win with those type of guys."
Round 2, pick No. 57: Ryan Greene, center
What you need to know: Greene, 18, registered 51 points (19 goals, 32 assists) in 59 games last season for the Green Bay Ramblers of the USHL. He had 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) in 51 games the season prior. He is committed to play at Boston University for the 2022-23 campaign.
Scouting report: Greene is a 6-foot-2, 179-pound right-handed shot center who likes to play with pace and is responsible on both ends of the ice. He tries modeling his game after Elias Lindholm, who was a Selke Trophy finalist this past season as one of the top defensive forwards.
Player reaction: "It’s unbelievable. It’s everything I dreamed of as a kid, and to be able to do it with your family and here in Montreal, it’s so special. It’s everything I ever imagined for sure."
Analysis from Doneghey: "We talked about centers, speed down the middle, a lot of value with a right-shot center. I don't want to say he's playing the long game like Sam Rinzel is, but he's got to get a little stronger physically but he's got the frame to carry a little bit more. Skating's really strong. Competitive, character."
Round 3, pick No. 66: Gavin Hayes, left wing
What you need to know: Hayes, 18, posted 49 points (19 goals, 30 assists) in 65 games last season for the Flint Firebirds of the OHL. He also added 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 19 postseason contests.
Scouting report: Hayes is a 6-foot-2, 177-pound right-handed shot winger who plays a 200-foot game. He called himself a "smart player" and said his "shot is key." He's drawn comparisons to Blake Wheeler but admitted "more skilled than him," although he also said he needs to "play the body more like him."
Player reaction: "I was kind of waiting a long time there. But my dad and my little brother were definitely happy. It’s definitely a relief. I know teams were interested in me. Every time they would go up and pick, I kind of got nervous. But I’m glad to be a Blackhawk, though."
Analysis from Doneghey: "This year in Flint, he didn't get a lot of opportunity early. He had to keep proving himself night after night. [Former Rockford IceHogs head coach] Ted Dent made him earn his strives. It didn't go great for Gavin all the way along, especially at the beginning, and he wasn't knocking on coaches doors or any of that type of stuff, he took it upon himself to figure it out and he did. One thing that resonates with me, I was at a game this year where he set the Flint record for points in a game. He had two goals and four assists, and it wasn't off the shinpad or it wasn't a dump-in that the scorekeeper just gave him an assist. It was two goals and four primary assists. He's got sneaky skill. He can shoot a puck."
Round 3, pick No. 81: Samuel Savoie, center
What you need to know: Savoie, 18, compiled 33 points (18 goals, 15 assists) in 64 games last season for the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMHJL. He also scored one goal in seven playoff contests.
Scouting report: Savoie is a 5-foot-10, 190-pound left-handed shot two-way forward who can play any of the three forward positions. He called himself "a competitor" and likes to play with an edge, similar to Brad Marchand.
Player reaction: "It's crazy. I was shocked. It's something that everybody works their whole life for. I just heard my name and I don't even know. I was shocked."
Analysis from Doneghey: "Samuel is just a ball of energy. A thick, big motor. Played some wing this year but he also got bumped in the middle. Total character. If you can think like a Yanni Gourde-type player, just speed, speed, relentless, just gets after it."
Round 3, pick No. 90: Aidan Thompson, center
What you need to know: Thompson, 20, recorded 82 points (24 goals, 58 assists) in 57 games last season for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. He also added four assists in three postseason contests. He is committed to the University of Denver for the 2022-23 season.
Scouting report: Thompson is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound left-handed shot center who’s considered to be an elite passer and plays a puck-possession kind of game.
Analysis from Doneghey: "Coaches think he was the fastest skater in the league as a center. He had a ton of points this year, might've been Top 5 scoring in the USHL, I don't know where exactly. We really like that he's going to Denver. We have a good relationship with David Carle and he's going to get a lot of opportunity there. They do a very good job at developing players."
Round 6, pick No. 173: Dominic James, forward
What you need to know: James, 20, registered 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 39 games as a freshman last season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He had 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists) in 52 games the year prior with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL.
Scouting report: James is a 5-foot-11, 165-pounder left-handed shot forward who can play center or wing. He’s known to be a setup-type player with a high compete level and is a great penalty killer.
Analysis from Doneghey: "[Associate GM] Norm Maciver saw him a lot. He was able to see Dominic quite a bit. Feisty, competitive, north-south winger and has an inside game."
Round 6, pick No. 188: Nils Juntorp, winger
What you need to know: Juntorp, 18, recorded 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists) in 44 games last season for the HV71 Under-20 team. He also had one assist in five postseason contests.
Scouting report: Juntorp is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed shot winger who plays a lot of pace.
Analysis from Doneghey: "Speed is his whole game. He's an up-down winger, speed, fast on the forecheck."
Round 7, pick No. 199: Riku Tohila, center
What you need to know: Tohila, 18, posted 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 41 games last season for the JYP Under-20 team in Finland. He is expected to play in Liiga at some point next season, which is Finland's top professional team.
Scouting report: Tohila is listed at 6-foot-5, 190 pounds but Doneghey said he's now 6-foot-8, which is ridiculous for a center. He carries a right-handed shot and appears to be a longer-term project.
Analysis from Doneghey: "I've never seen him play, but our Finnish scout Mikko Luoma [has]. This kid comes from a small town, very behind the curve. He's 6-8 who's a right-hand center, very naive, very behind the curve but the value of the skating and obviously the size, I respect what Mikko's thoughts on him."
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