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2024 Blackhawks Bottom Line

Blackhawks Bottom Line: Kevin Korchinski Will Be Just Fine



Over the course of the next month, Chicago Hockey Now will be profiling every Chicago Blackhawks player from the 2023-24 season. Today, will be defenseman Kevin Korchinski.

Kevin Korchinski
Games Played: 76
(Goals – Assists – Points): 5-10-15
Contract Status:  Two Years; Entry-Level Deal

The Short View

Kevin Korchinski stayed with the Blackhawks all season long since he couldn’t go to Rockford due to the CHL-NHL rules. It wasn’t the wrong move–as there was nothing left for Korchinski to show in the Western Hockey League. While there were struggles along the way, it was the right decision to keep Korchinski up to figure things out in a role that will one day see him as a top four defenseman in Chicago.

The Long View

Korchinski is still a defenseman and unlike Alex Vlasic, who was able to develop in Rockford, Korchinski was thrown into the fire right away. Logging big minutes in the NHL is a lot different obviously than in junior hockey but another major difference is Korchinski having pairings that weren’t always advantageous to his development. While Vlasic had Seth Jones, Korchinski often had players who weren’t as strong on the back end. This was especially true after Connor Murphy, who had been a stabilizing force for him, landed on the IR for just about three months.

As a result, the offensive instincts he possesses often were restrained on the ice–simply because a chance here or there could lead to fishing the puck out of the Blackhawks net.

The Bottom Line for Kevin Korchinski

It’s not to excuse some of Korchinski’s gaffes at times–some of which had him on the bench to watch more at times–but he is just a teenager at the end of the day. While Connor Bedard is an unfair comparison, he often made fans and analysts forget just how extraordinary his feats were. Korchinski hardly had a bad season, but there certainly rookie bumps along the way.

But to put it into a historical context, Duncan Keith had two full seasons in the AHL before he made his way to the big club. When he made it to Chicago on a team that finished much better statistically than the one Korchinski was on, Keith recorded just five goals and six points more than what Korchinski posted. Contextually, it’s something to keep in mind. Keith was on a (slightly) stronger team with two professional seasons under his belt before arriving for the Blackhawks.

So while Korchinski’s rookie mistakes could elicit some groans, he managed to fight and play through in spite of it. A trip to Rockford next season might happen to tighten things up but he’ll at least get a shot to start with the Blackhawks first. With an improved roster likely and a year’s worth of professional hockey to his name, Korchinski should see an uptick from this season–which should help with confidence and moving the Blackhawks up in the win column.

Previous Blackhawks Bottom Line Entries

Seth Jones | Connor Murphy | Ryan Donato | Taylor Raddysh | Joey Anderson Jason Dickinson | Nick Foligno | Nikita Zaitsev | Philipp Kurashev | Jaycob Megna | Jarred Tinordi | Lukas Reichel | Petr Mrazek | Ethan Del Mastro | Arvid Soderblom | Colin Blackwell | Reese Johnson

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