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Brown: Frank Nazar Makes His Strongest Case Yet for an Entry-Level Deal

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If there was ever a time where Frank Nazar made his strongest case for an entry-level deal, it was Saturday night. For sure, there’s still games for him to play with the Michigan Wolverines. But the sophomore made an emphatic  yet to be inked by the Chicago Blackhawks as soon as it’s possible.

Was it a goal just 59 seconds in? Another to even things up later in the game? Or is it simply the fact that Nazar continues to show up not only in big games, but absolutely is a force in every way the Blackhawks need as they grow a young core.

A Pair of Goals and Tenacity From Frank Nazar in Michigan’s Loss

He just narrowly missed a chance at a hat trick and a game winning goal for the Wolverines in overtime of their 5-4 loss to arch rival Michigan State in the Big Ten title game. It didn’t go their way but they’ll be playing beyond that title game soon.

But Nazar continues what has been an impressive season and doubles down on much of what the Blackhawks hoped they were getting when they traded Kirby Dach to the Montreal Canadiens to get the 13th overall pick back in the 2022 NHL Draft.

For anyone who watched the Big Ten tournament, Nazar showcased his value in each of those games. Against Minnesota, he seemed to be in just about every play possible. In the contest against Michigan State, he not only buried two goals but was active for the Wolverines all night long. In the opening series against Landon Slaggert and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, he factored in constantly in Michigan’s two victories.

How does it all add up? He ends the season with 16 goals and 39 points–which falls in line with the Dylan Larkin comparisons made throughout the season. He finishes just a point beyond a point-per-game and the goal scoring is what stands out more.

For a Blackhawks team starving for goals, Nazar seems to help in a critical spot. Now, nothing is guaranteed and he would have to certainly earn his spot. But as Saturday showed, Nazar rises to the occasion and for a Blackhawks squad seeking to build their culture around tenacity, Frank Nazar fits the bill.

Now we’ll see if general manager Kyle Davidson agrees.

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