Even before the arrival of Connor Bedard last summer, the Blackhawks consistently ranked among the best prospect pools in the NHL. Last year’s pipeline, which was highlighted by Lukas Reichel and Kevin Korchinski, has finally fully arrived in the NHL, and the next class is well on its way.
The new group of high-caliber prospects has performed even better than expected. With the Blackhawks resting comfortably at the bottom of the NHL standings, it won’t be long before the team switches things up just to get a look at their top prospects. When that happens, Chicago will look to the college ranks, giving those players some run after they complete their collegiate seasons. But which college skaters will we see in Blackhawks sweaters this year?
Perhaps the most obvious of the future Blackhawks commits, Slaggert plans to sign with the team immediately after the culmination of his senior season at Notre Dame. He returned to the NCAA ranks to complete “unfinished business” this year, and has made good on that effort by becoming a nearly point-per-game player. As captain of the squad, there’s little doubt he’s emotionally mature enough to handle the transition to the NHL. He’ll undoubtedly get a look on Chicago’s top lines, which are thin enough already.
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The most exciting prospect in the Blackhawks’ system has 33 points in 26 games at Michigan already and put on an excellent display at the World Junior Championships this winter as well. The 20-year-old was drafted 13th overall in 2022 by the Blackhawks for his tremendous offensive abilities. He’ll likely sign and make his debut before the end of the NHL season, and figures to be a valuable top-six skater for years to come.
Dach has encountered more than his fair share of injuries with the IceHogs this season, but when healthy, he’s been an all-around difference-maker on both ends of the ice. A “power forward” of sorts, Dach is a big, physical player who can also make plays offensively. There’s been talk that he’d make a perfect long-term linemate for Connor Bedard thanks to his physicality and other various talents, and he may get a shot to prove as much toward the end of this NHL season. With a potential shuffling of the lineup coming next month, Dach could be a skater that gets called up for an extended look.