© 2023 BSN LIVE, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
With the rebuild fully on in Chicago, there may not be a Blackhawks prospect camp in recent years that matters more than this year’s camp. Not only is it the first prospect camp since the summer of 2019, it is the first camp of the Kyle Davidson-era Blackhawks, who are slowly but surely tearing the roster down to the studs. In a carpentry sense.
But maybe also in a prospects sense.
Camp runs Monday through Friday at the Fifth Third Arena in Chicago this week and the organization released the full roster attending camp yesterday.
Here’s who will be at prospect camp starting on Monday morning:
All 11 players selected in this past week’s 2022 NHL Draft will be in attendance, along with some familiar names to Blackhawks fans. The CHGO Blackhawks crew will be in attendance all week at camp, and here are three prospects each of us are excited to see this year.
Greg’s 3 Prospects:
I will preface this by saying it is hard to judge anything you see at development camp. These kids are practicing all week long, which is entirely different from seeing them in game action. However, seeing some of the raw talents these prospects have up close will be nice.
I loved the Nazar pick, and I want to see that speed that made him a high first-round pick. With goaltenders, you can get a little more information on them during the week. I want to see where Commesso’s fundamentals are at this point, so I have something to compare them to at next summer’s development camp. Finally, I want to see some of the aspects of Korchinski’s game that made him so high on the Blackhawks list. There will be plenty to watch out for over the next week, but these are the three I will be watching a little closer.
Jay’s 3 Prospects
Ethan Del Mastro
If there’s a silver lining to a rebuild, it’s that Prospects Camps and preseason games have a little more meaning. Aside from the Blackhawks 2022 draft selections, who will obviously be front and center, there are three players in particular I’m going to keep an eye on this week.
First is defenseman Ethan del Mastro. The Blackhawks signed the 6-foot-4 19-year-old in April after drafting him in the fourth round of the 2021 draft. He had 48 points in 68 games with Mississauga of the OHL and is very much the “Kyle Davidson type” with speed, size, and skill.
Second is Colton Dach. He was so impressive with Kelowna (WHL) last season, that the IceHogs decided to have him along with the for the playoffs. He had 79 points in a nice 69 games for the Rockets. I’m interested to see how he plays and to hear how he feels after the Blackhawks dealt his brother, Kirby, on Thursday.
Third, I’m intrigued by Jalen Luypen. He had a solid season with the Edmonton Oil Kings, but was even more impressive in our CHGO Blackhawks Podcast interview. He seems like a great kid with a real chance to turn some heads. None of these three project to be Blackhawks this season, but they’re three of the existing pieces that intrigue me.
Mario’s 3 Prospects:
There are so many to choose from at this year’s prospect camp and I’m especially intrigued with players like Frank Nazar and Drew Commesso. But in the spirit of not overlapping too much with Jay and Greg, the trio I’m going to paying more attention to this week is Landon Slaggert, Wyatt Kaiser, and Victor Stjernborg.
To me, one of the best players that not a lot of Blackhawks fans are talking about is University of Minnesota-Duluth defenseman Wyatt Kaiser. He played top-pair minutes as a freshman in 2020-21 and helped the Bulldogs to the NCAA Championship game. Last season was another for Kaiser as the top pair with Minnesota-Duluth and he finished the season as the top-scoring defenseman with 19 points in 34 games. Kaiser was also selected to play for Team USA at the Men’s World Junior Championships last winter before they were canceled and rescheduled for this August. He’ll be back with Team USA again this summer as they look to defend their Gold Medal.
Part of the gold medal-winning team for the U.S. was Notre Dame standout Landon Slaggert. After playing a secondary role with Team USA in 2021, Slaggert will have more responsibility in an energy role when the tournament kicks off again in August. In two seasons at Notre Dame, Slaggert has posted 20 goals and 48 points in 65 games combined. He has a lot of Andrew Shaw and Brandon Hagel in his game and I want to see how his skillset develops as he enters his third NCAA season.
Finally, I’m intrigued by the game of 2021 fourth-round pick Victor Stjernborg. Another player from this Blackhawks group that is heading to the August Men’s World Junior Championships redo with Sweden, Stjernborg missed the tournament in the winter due to COVID. But he’s healthy now and ready to build upon a shortened season this past year that saw him miss time with COVID and injury. He’s another player that fits the style Kyle Davidson wants to have in the system where he plays with speed, an edge, and has a good amount of skill to work with.
Camp opens on Monday at 10 a.m. at the Fifth Third Arena in Chicago with sessions on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday going from 10 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Wednesday is a testing day for the prospects, fitting since that is also the opening day of NHL free agency. Friday concludes the camp with a 3v3 mini-tournament that will pit the prospects against each other. Friday’s action will be live-streamed on the Blackhawks team website. All sessions are free and open to the public.
See you there!
Get Chicago's Best Sports Content In Your Inbox!
Become a smarter Chicago sports fan with the latest game recaps, analysis and exclusive content from CHGO’s writers and podcasters!
Just drop your email below!