(Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment in Chicago Hockey Now’s Blackhawks of Tomorrow series about Chicago Blackhawks prospects. Today we look at defenseman Nolan Allan).
The Chicago Blackhawks have a trio of prospects playing for the Seattle Thunderbirds. Allan is the third of those three already profiled in the series and is readying to play in Game 1 of the Western Hockey League Final.
Lost in the craziness of the last few years of Blackhawks hockey, Allan was the final pick of the first round in 2021. The pick was acquried in the Seth Jones trade and was originally Tampa Bay’s. Then general manager Stan Bowman chose Allan, and the defenseman has steadily improved in terms of offensive production since that selection. While his points total dipped from the 2021-22 season, Allan’s goals tallied 11 between Prince Albert and Seattle, where he was traded mid-season. He also was a member of the Gold Medal Canadian team at the 2023 IIHF tournament back in the winter with both his Seattle teammates and future teammate Connor Bedard.
Allan isn’t going to drive offense like his teammate Korchinski as he’s more of a stay-at-home defenseman. His hockey IQ shines while in the backend of the ice, able to cut off angles with mature skating, and for all of the offense that many of the Blackhawks defensive prospects will generate, Allan will still be a driver for responsibly patrolling the neutral zone and beyond.
Name another Blackhawks first-round pick who’s often forgotten to be one as Allan has. Some analysts said the Blackhawks reached when making the pick, as some didn’t have him on their draft boards until the middle of the second round. No matter, Allan has shown improvement in the offensive side of his game while still being the dependable defenseman that earned him Chicago’s trust. He cites Drew Doughty as an a favorite growing up. It’s obvious in his own game.
He’s still a few years away in terms of making an apperance with the big club, but his trajectory and development are on the right track. All that remains to be seen now is just how long it will take for him to make the leap.