Instead of going with Chicago Blackhawks players (which will appear on Monday), we’ll focus more on those prospects that have been active. We’ll look at one from college, another from juniors, and one more from the professional setting.
Frank Nazar III – University of Michigan
A pair of goals and an assist against Minnesota this weekend helped Michigan capture a point in two games. Though they dropped both games, for now, Nazar won the battle of Blackhawks Big 10 forwards in the first tilt against Oliver Moore. It’s an A/B argument as both bring their respective speed and skill–which will be an absolute asset to the Blackhawks down the road.
Nazar has been on an absolute tear lately. During a five-game point streak, he has nine points with three finding the back of the net, including two this weekend. For the season, Nazar has 13 points in 12 games, which includes six goals.
What makes Nazar appealing is that he’s a right hand shot–a valuable commodity in the NHL. If he continues at this pace and can also translate it into the professional game, well, he’s showing exactly what he can bring to Chicago.
Paul Ludwinski – Kingston Frontenacs
Ludwinski missed the end of his season because of an ankle injury and his numbers prior to that were not as in line with his marks from the 2021-22 season. Now, it’s all coming together, with Ludwinski over a point-per-game pace right now and is already halfway to last year’s mark. Setting 67 games as the marker, he’s on pace for 81 points.
Ludwinski, along with the bulk of the Blackhawks’ prospects, is high on speed and skill, and would be another terrific option down the middle for a team that could find itself flush with speedy centers in as soon as two years.
Ludwinski, along with several different OHL prospects in the organization, is going to give the Blackhawks brass a lot to consider when it comes time to bring them to the big club–if it all keeps up.
Drew Commesso – Rockford IceHogs
Giving up four goals against Iowa Friday night dampened a bit of his early returns but he’s human after all. Commesso has already posted a shutout this season, and still boasts a save percentage of .919, which is above his average at Boston University.
The next few performances, especially now that the IceHogs are two games into a losing streak, will be critical for Commesso. It’s the opportunity for him to be the strong force in the crease that can backstop a team to victory and also steal it when they need it most.
If Petr Mrazek’s performance makes him a potential target for teams desperate for goaltending help (Edmonton), Commesso could see chances in Chicago perhaps as soon as this season. That’s speculative, and certainly Chicago is no hurry to promote anyone prematurely. But Commesso could see a similar track that Arvid Soderblom saw and how he performs under fire in Rockford will only expedite the process.