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Blackhawks Prospects Preview: Michigan’s Magic Man?

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Frank Nazar is healthy and ready to go. Losing a chunk of his freshman season due to injury, he’ll enter his sophomore season with the opportunity to show both the University of Michigan and the Chicago Blackhawks that he’s absolutely the player they both know he is–when given a full season.

Summer Showcase Shows Nazar’s Skillset

Blackhawks fans were abuzz with his opening salvo against Sweden: Four goals and five points later, Nazar had a moment that reminded everyone why the Chicago Blackhawks took him 13th overall.

Now, can Nazar do it consistently for the Wolverines? He let his fellow Blackhawks prospects and soon-to-be rivals in Oliver Moore and Sam Rinzel know that he’ll be coming for them when Minnesota faces off against Michigan four times this season.

The fire is most definitely there. Now he’ll have to back it up on the scoresheet.

But scoring hasn’t been an issue for the 19-year-old. Even in limited time with Michigan, he put up seven points (2-5) in 13 games. Against Sweden’s best, he put up five points. Imagine what he’ll do with tuneup games for Michigan during exhibition play.

There’s healthy debate on whether he or Moore is the better. CHN made the 4A/4B argument, giving the slight nod to Nazar. A dynamite season at Michigan will cement him there and likely have Chicago calling with an entry-level deal.

Blackhawks May Have a Budding Star

Perhaps it’s being more contrarian than some but Nazar has the skillset to project out into a top six forward for Blackhawks. Reading the scouting when he was drafted bears it out–and the injury last season dampened some to it.

But injuries are a part of sports. Though Connor Bedard and Moore have generated their fair (and earned) share of buzz, it shouldn’t dim Nazar’s rising star.

The Measured Prediction

Nazar is a pest everywhere on the ice for the Wolverines, playing the full 200-foot game he was recruited for and is offered an entry-level deal by Chicago following Michigan’s season.

Shoot the Moon Prediction 

Let’s just go full out–he and Moore are not only Big 10 competitors, but also rival one another for the Hobey Baker.

Say it Ain’t So Prediction

Injury rears its ugly head again and Nazar is forced to miss time, putting another hurdle into his progression and development.

Final Thoughts

When Nazar was selected by the Blackhawks back in 2022, many felt it was a slam dunk pick and one that would benefit them later on. This is the season where that will be put to the test–and likely met if Nazar indeed remains healthy.

Previous Prospect Season Preview Pieces: Kevin Korchinski | Lukas Reichel | Gavin Hayes | Paul Ludwinski | Oliver Moore

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