Six Elite Blackhawks Prospects Participating in the Swedish WJC

Chicago Blackhawks draft picks made up five of Canada’s gold-medal winning team at the 2023 World Junior Championship, led by Connor Bedard.

Top Blackhawks prospects make up four members of Team USA at the World Junior Championship in Sweden this year. Slovakia’s squad has two draft selections from Chicago. The competition takes place in Göteborg, the hometown of current Blackhawks goalie Arvid Söderblom, from December 26, 2023 to January 5, 2024.

OIiver Moore was drafted in the first round, 19th overall in 2023. USA Today Network.

Even if defenseman Kevin Korchinski, 19, and forward Bedard, 18, were qualified for the WJC once more, the Hawks are without a player on Team Canada this time. Korchinski and Bedard, the NHL’s top rookie scorer, are both making an impression with Chicago.

The 2023 WJC squad for Canada included forward Colton Dach, defensemen Nolan Allan and Ethan Del Mastro, and forwards. Right now, all three are skating for the AHL’s Rockford.

These are the players to keep an eye on at the World Juniors. On December 26, Team USA plays Norway, and Slovakia plays Czechia.

Nazar closes in against Michigan State. USA Today Network.

Blackhawks prospects playing for Team USA

Frank Nazar

University of Michigan as a team. Go ahead. 2022 draft pick, 13th overall, first round. Metrics: 19 years old, 175 pounds, 5 feet 10 inches. from Michigan’s Mount Clemens. Story: Following hip surgery, Nazar had a delayed start to the previous season with Michigan, managing only two goals and five assists in 13 appearances. The quick, nimble forward has eight goals and ten assists in 18 games with the Wolverines in 2023–24.

Sam Rinzel at 2022 Draft. USA Today Network.

Sam Rinzel

University of Minnesota as a team. Defender. drafted first overall in the first round in 2022. Specifics: 6-foot-4, 176 pounds, 19 years old. from Minnesota’s Chanhassen. Story: In 18 games this season, the rangy defenseman has 10 assists and one goal for the Gophers as a freshman.

Oliver Moore

University of Minnesota as a team. Go ahead. first round, 19th overall, draft in 2023. Specifications: Aged 18 (becomes 19 on January 22, 2024) 194 pounds, 5 feet 11 inches. from Minnesota’s Mounds View. Story:With the forward anticipated to go earlier, Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson was thrilled to select the quick Moore in the 19th spot. Moore, who shares a room with Rinzel and is a freshman at Minnesota, has two goals and ten assists in 18 games.

Gavin Hayes

Teams: OHL Flint Firebirds. Go ahead. 66th overall and third round draft pick in 2022. Specifics: 6-foot-0, 178 pounds, 19 years of age. from Michigan’s Westland. Story: Hayes has 19 goals and 17 assists in 27 games during his third junior season with Flint. He made a breakthrough in his junior career last year, recording 41 goals and 40 assists in 66 games.

Blackhawks prospects playing for Team Slovakia

Adam Gajan

Team: USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers. Goalie. 35th overall in the second round of the 2023 draft. Specifics: 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, 19 years of age. from Slovakia’s Poprad. Story: It was Gajan’s intention to play a large part for Green Bay this season, and he has been fulfilling that goal. With a 3.03 goals-against average and a.911 save percentage, he is 14-4-2. Gajan has committed to play for the University of Minnesota-Duluth in NCAA Division I the following season.

After playing in four games for the Slovaks and going 2-2-0 with a 2.40 goals against average and a.936 save percentage, Gajan was named the best goalie in the WJC the previous year. But his response to Bedard’s highlight-reel overtime goal in the quarterfinal may make him most memorable. After the goal, Bedard slipped the puck past Gajan, who was still on his back, after stickhandling through three Slovak defenders.

Martin Misiak in action with Erie of the OHL. USA Today Network.

Martin Misiak

Team: Center; OHL; Erie Otters. drafted 55th overall in the second round in 2023. Stats: 19 years old, 200 pounds, 6 feet 2 inches. from Slovakia’s Banska Bystrica. Narrative: After representing Slovakia in the WJC the previous year, Misiak played 23 games for Youngstown of the USHL to start his transition to North American hockey. He’s stepped up his junior league play and joined Erie this season, a team that has produced many NHL players, including Connor McDavid. In 28 games with the Otters, the man-sized Misiak has 13 goals and 13 assists.

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