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World Junior Championship Could be Holiday Treat for Blackhawks Fans



Social media was all abuzz about the Blackhawks prospect Frank Nazar’s big hit in the exhibition game against Sweden. Nazar is known for his speed and skill, not a thumper of a hit that left Sweden’s Jakob Noren down on the ice.

With the World Juniors set to start the day after Christmas, Blackhawks fans will have a lot of prospects to track and cheer for–regardless of the banner they’re under. After all, a better showing on the international stage provides another clue as to what the Blackhawks have stirring in their prospect pool.

Potential, Current Blackhawks Prospects in the WJC

The United States is loaded with Blackhawks prospects, naming Nazar, Oliver Moore, Sam Rinzel, and Gavin Hayes to the squad. In yesterday’s 5-3 exhibition win over Sweden, there weren’t any markers from the aforementioned but Nazar centered the second line while Moore and Hayes flanked center Danny Nelson on the fourth line.

Team Canada didn’t take any Blackhawks prospects with them, but one potential prospect to keep an eye on is Mack Celebrini, who CHN looked at yesterday. Should Chicago pick first again, they’ll assuredly select Celebrini with that choice.

Rounding out the Blackhawks prospects in the WJC’s, Team Slovakia added Martin Misiak and netminder Adam Gajan. Misiak has 26 points (13-13) in 28 games for the Erie Otters while Gajan has been solid in the USHL for the Green Bay Gamblers, posting a save percentage of .911, and posting a 14-4-2 record.

New Years Eve should be circled for Hawks fans, then, because the US and Slovakia will face off then. While against one another now, but together on United Center ice somewhere down the road.

A Contrast from the Season

Perhaps the best part of the WJC’s is that aside from rebuild hockey, it will give fans something to watch with the collection of amateur talent and an eye to the future for Chicago. Many of the prospects readying for selection in 2024 will be playing and with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s pick in tow, too, there’s more than just current prospects to pay attention to.

So enjoy the tournament, Blackhawks fans. While it’s in the here and now, it could also provide a glimpse of what will be for Chicago down the road.

More Prospect Reads: 

Cole Eiserman is one to keep an eye on for the 2024 Draft

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