Chicago Blackhawks Draft Kevin Korchinski 7th Overall

With the seventh pick of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks have selected Kevin Korchinski from Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL)

About Kevin Korchinski

If there was one prospect that caught the attention of many this season with his overall improvement in his play, it was Kevin Korchinski. He finished fourth among WHL defenders in points with 65 and second overall in assists with 61. He then added another 19 points in 25 games in the WHL playoffs, showcasing his playmaking abilities and mobility every chance he got.

Related: 2022 NHL Draft Live Tracker

His best asset is his ability to carry the puck with ease in transition, displaying his smooth skating stride and speed. Teams value quick and strong transitional players and Korchinski is one of the best to do that. While he’s great defending against the rush with his long reach, his play in his own end can be questionable at times. If he’s able to work on that, he can be a strong two-way threat.

THW Prospect Profile Excerpt

“Korchinski offers a huge upside, considering his 6-foot-2 frame that he’s yet to completely grow into. He’s known for an incredibly smooth skating ability, complete with quality edge work, while also possessing superb vision and puck handling. He’s quick, confident, and competitive, and these were already attributes that were attractive to scouts before his rise to the top of the draft crop this season. He sees the game well, and as we’ve seen this year, has a knack for finding his teammates in scoring areas. His long reach assists him on defense, but there are some concerns in his own zone. 

THW 2022 NHL Entry Draft Guide Kevin Korchinski
Kevin Korchinski (The Hockey Writers)

“One of the biggest items called into question with Korchinski’s current game, believe it or not, is his hockey IQ. Though he has shown fantastic vision on the ice, previous scouting reports have indicated there are times when he tries to force a play through the zone, resulting in a turnover, and every so often, a Grade-A chance for the opposition. These concerns have eased as the WHL season has progressed, however, as an offensive-minded defenseman, he still needs to work on situational positioning and decision-making.”

Full player profile can be found here

How This Affects the Blackhawks’ Plans

The Blackhawks don’t have a strong prospect system with only Lukas Reichel as their top prospect. Drafting Korchinski gives them a highly touted, puck-moving defenseman on the backend who is strong in transition and a high-end playmaker. After they drafted Nolan Allan in the first-round in 2021 and Ethan Del Mastro later in the fourth round in that draft, Korchinski easily becomes their top defensive prospect. He can look to improve his defensive game, but he does have the foundation and potential to be a strong two-way defender. He’ll definitely be a force to generate offence for them on the backend.