Saturday, May 25, 2024

Blackhawks Shockingly Sign Top Prospect To Immediately Begin Entry-Level Contract In Complete Head-Scratcher


Since taking over decision-making duties in 2021, Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson has made nothing but calculated decisions. His work to build a young team from the ground up hasn’t paid off just yet, but there’s enough talent in the prospect pool to make it an exciting time to be a Blackhawks fan.

On Saturday, though, Davidson made his first real head-scratching move. In a shocking development, the Blackhawks signed top prospect Frank Nazar III to an entry-level contract that is set to begin IMMEDIATELY.

There’s no question that Nazar is ready for professional hockey, and I’d rather see him make his debut in Chicago than Rockford. As the Blackhawks’ top prospect all season, the 20-year-old forward excelled at Michigan in a tough Big Ten conference, posting 41 points in 41 games while winning an impressive 55 percent of his faceoffs. He’s a human highlight reel on the offensive end and there’s no question he’ll play a big role for the Blackhawks throughout his career.

With three games left in the regular season in Chicago, the rationale behind the move could be that by the time he’s ready for a second contract in 2026, he’ll have less proven production and thus come back at a cheaper cost.

Still, this move is a puzzler. While he’s certainly ready for the NHL, Nazar will only be able to play three games this season. That obviously means the Blackhawks will have him under contract for just over two years instead of a full three. Perhaps most importantly, with his deal now expiring after the 2025-26 season, his financial timeline is the same as that of Connor Bedard, Kevin Korchinski, and Ethan Del Mastro, who could command big paydays down the road. That sounds like a GM’s worst nightmare.

While the long-term consequences of the decision certainly make it a questionable one, the signing is still great, albeit shocking, news for the Blackhawks. Nazar is a part of the team’s long-term future and represents a major win in an otherwise difficult season. Chicago fans will have a chance to get their first look at their star prospect in a Blackhawks sweater, and the team’s staff gets the opportunity to see how he fares at the NHL level and pencil him into a spot in next year’s lineup.


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Southside Mike
Southside Mike
Apr 13, 2024 10:05 pm

Stupid move, no way to spin it

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