Rinzel was taken with the 25th overall pick of the 2022 NHL Draft, the final of three first-round picks Kyle Davidson nabbed. Two were spent on defensemen, with the other being Kevin Korchinski at #7. Rinzel was nearly 20 picks later, but sports many of the same attributes as the former. Finishing up his second season with the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks, Rinzel will begin his freshman year at the University of Minnesota. Rinzel will be just 19 in a few days, and is on the younger end of Chicago’s prospects.
The appeal from Rinzel is his size, booming shot, and ability to run an offense. Rinzel is also a right hand shot, a valuable commodity on any blueline. Even with a longer frame, his stickhandling along with his ability to deke and dangle draws attention.
In his own zone, Rinzel has admitted in several interviews that he’d like to grow out his defensive game more. Sure, maybe not exactly what one would want a defensive prospect to say, but he’ll have plenty of time to shore that up as the Blackhawks will be patient with his development.
Forecast for Sam Rinzel
If there’s any sort of conclusion one could draw, it’s that Korchinski and Rinzel could potentially be a future pairing. They complement each other on the right and left side respectively. Both are great skaters, and can drive offense.
The main difference will be in terms of development time. Korchinski could be in Chicago as early as next season while Rinzel will be brought along at an easier pace. The 18-year-old held his own with Waterloo. If he can contribute and log big minutes in his first year with NCAA runner up Minnesota, the timeline may inch up just a bit.
But there’s no rush which gives Rinzel time to develop into the top four pairing they hope he’ll be.
Previous Blackhawks of the Future Entries: Kevin Korchinski | Colton Dach | Frank Nazar | Nolan Allan | Gavin Hayes | Drew Commesso | Lukas Reichel | Ryan Greene | Ethan Del Mastro | Paul Ludwinski | Ilya Safonov | Arvid Soderblom