NHL Draft 2022: Blackhawks select Sam Rinzel with No. 25 pick

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Hawks select Sam Rinzel with 25th overall pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

MONTREAL — The Chicago Blackhawks acquired the No. 25 overall pick and goaltender Petr Mrazek from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for the No. 38 overall selection.

With the No. 25 pick, the Blackhawks took defenseman Sam Rinzel. He was their third first-round pick of the night, joining defenseman Kevin Korchinski (No. 7) and center Frank Nazar (No. 13).

"I couldn't believe it," Rinzel said. "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."

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.

Rinzel is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound right-handed shot defenseman who prides himself on playing an all-around game. Cale Makar, John Klingberg and Colton Parayko are a few names he likes to watch and learn from.

Rinzel might be a bit of a project because he just graduated high school, but the Blackhawks like his upside and can afford to be patient with him since they're in the beginning stages of a full-scale rebuild.

"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," Blackhawks director of amateur scouting Mike Doneghey said. "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. Again, he's a little more puck-friendly than maybe some of the guys that we've taken, but they'll certainly make good pairs going forward.

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