2021-22 Team: USNTDP Juniors (USHL)
Date of Birth: Jan, 14, 2004
Place of Birth: Mt. Clemens, MI, USA
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 174 pounds
Position: Center/Right Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 17th (amongst NA skaters)
- FC Hockey: 10th
- Recruit Scouting: 16th
- Peter Baracchini’s March Rankings: 13th
- Andrew Forbes’ March Rankings: 11th
- Matthew Zator’s April Rankings: 9th
- Smaht Scouting: 6th
- Bob McKenzie’s Rankings: 14th
- Dobber Prospects Mid-Season Rankings: 8th
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.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
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.
Prior to that, Nazar posted 55 points in 45 games with the US National U17 Team in the USDP during the 2020-21 season, and 36 points in 31 games that same year with the aforementioned USHL Juniors team. Perhaps most entertaining (and eye-popping), he notched 127 points on 49 goals and 78 assists in just 55 games with the Honeybaked 15U AAA program in 2019-20.
Nazar had a 2019-20 season to remember, as he earned awards in the High Performance Hockey League (HPHL) 15U program, winning a championship while earning the Whitby Silverstick U16 Most Assists (7), Whitby Silverstick U16 Most Goals (8) and Whitby Silverstick U16 Most Points (15) awards in a stellar year.
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.
The biggest downside to his game is his size. At 5-foot-10, 174 pounds, he most definitely needs to bulk up before he’s ready to fully compete on the world’s grandest stage, but short of that, there’s not a whole lot of concern among the pundits. His level of competitiveness accounts for his size at the present, but he needs to bulk up during his time with the Woverines.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Frank Nazar – NHL Draft Projection
Nazar has done nothing but impress this past season, and he’s seen his draft stock climb as a result. He’s widely considered to be — at the very least — a top-15 pick, and it wouldn’t be a reach of a team snags him in the top 10 of this year’s draft. In the end, he’ll likely fall somewhere between 5 and 15.
“Frank Nazar is the type of high-energy player with a ‘never quit’ attitude that nearly every NHL team will absolutely fall in love with when watching his games. Nazar is a quality mix of speed and skill that elevates the play of his teammates whenever he’s on the ice.” — Paul Zuk, SMAHT Scouting
“Versatile forward with great speed and offensive skill. Generates offense off the rush and has a quick release. Needs to add strength to his undersized frame but has the talent to produce offense in the NHL.” — Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
“Nazar doesn’t get flustered. Even if the opposition takes away a slick pass or intercepts an opportunity around the net-front, it’s right back to business the very next shift. You can practically see him going into the lab on the bench, scheming for his next shift. And it rarely if ever fails.”– Russ Cohen, EP Rinkside
“Nazar has potential as a dynamic, offensive winger with a knack for playmaking. He shows excellent patience and seems to always know where his teammates are on the ice. You can see the spring in his step when his team gets the puck. His skating is very strong, thanks to his long, powerful strides. He accelerates quickly, not needing much effort to get to top speed.” — Josh Bell, FC Hockey
- Skating Agility/Edgework
- Top speed
- Two-way ability
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Initial acceleration
Nazar has the ability to step into a top-6 role in the NHL in a few years, and may potentially even be a top-line forward when it’s all said and done. Though he’s not a generational talent, he has the makings of a player that can lead by example by understanding his role on the ice in all situations, and his upcoming commitment to the University of Michigan will only enhance that.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 8/10, Defense – 6.5/10
- HPHL 15U Champion (2019-20)
- Whitby Silverstick U16 Most Assists (7) (2019-20)
- Whitby Silverstick U16 Most Goals (8) (2019-20)
- Whitby Silverstick U16 Most Points (15) (2019-20)
- YOG Silver Medal (2019-20)
- Nazar’s natural skating ability raises profile as 2022 NHL Draft prospect
- Frank Nazar III: Driven to prove the critics wrong
- 2022 NHL Draft: Frank Nazar Scouting Report
- Nazar shines in exhibition against Michigan