With the 13th pick of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks have selected Frank Nazar from the USNTDP Juniors of the United States Hockey League (USHL)
About Frank Nazar
Undersized to be sure, Frank Nazar makes up for it with skating, creativity, and playmaking. He is also a fierce competitor with a high motor. Noted mostly for his edges and vision, he can also score when given the opportunity thanks to a quick release on his shot. Yet another Michigan University commit, he will join a prestigious program that will allow him to fully develop his skills into an elite NHL package.
Related: 2022 NHL Draft: Live Tracker
Splitting his time between the US National U18 Team and the USNTDP Juniors, Nazar put together a monster season with 43 goals and 105 points in 80 games. His plus/minus was off the charts too, clocking in at an insane plus-64. He also won a silver medal at the U18 World Championship where he put up another three goals and nine points in six games along with a plus-7. Needless to say, it will be exciting to see what he can do at the NCAA level in 2022-23, and of course, the re-scheduled World Juniors in August.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“Frank Nazar is no stranger to high expectations. The 18-year-old forward has produced over a point-per-game at every level that he’s played at, and projected by some as a top-10 pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. The Michigan native has fantastic vision, skates extremely well, and has almost as much of a knack for scoring as he does dishing out assists.
“He plays an extremely well-balanced game, and the 2022-23 University of Michigan commit will likely find himself in the NHL sooner, rather than later.
“This season Nazar has continued his developmental league domination, as he’s logged time in 2021-22 with both the US National Development Program’s (USDP) National U18 team, where he recorded 25 goals and 37 assists in 50 games, as well as the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) USNTDP Juniors team, where he’s posted 16 goals and 22 assists in 26 games…
“There’s little doubt Nazar is a bonafide scorer, and his speed and superb skill will likely translate quite well to the NHL level. There’s every reason to believe he’ll handle the transition to college — and ultimately the NHL — with little issue. He has excelled at every level, with almost no drop-off despite constantly facing increasingly difficult opposition.
“Nazar’s most often talked-about attribute rests in his skating, as he has excellent speed and edge work, though it’s been noted he could work a bit on his initial acceleration. Opposing teams have trouble trying to slow down the elusive righty, who makes the most of his opportunities in transition, and part of what makes him so special is his balanced scoring attack. He uses his strong vision on the ice to make the right decisions, whether it’s feeding an open teammate on a Grade-A chance, or finishing the play himself.”
How This Affects the Blackhawks’ Plans
After dealing Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat, Nazar will eventually be as prolific as the undersized center who is now part of the Ottawa Senators. He’s a dynamic forward, there’s no doubt about it, and he’s now the Blackhawks’ top prospect next to Kevin Korchinski. Lukas Reichel will have a center to feed him for years to come. All in all, general manager Kyle Davidson has quickly built up his prospect pool in just a few short hours.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.