The Blackhawks face a major question about their top defensive prospect

Published September 8, 2023 at 0:31

Kevin Korchinski. Korchinski, the Blackhawks defenseman, was drafted 7th overall in the 2022 entry draft and had a fantastic season with the Seattle Thunderbirds. His team became the champions of the Western Hockey League and advanced to face the Quebec Remparts in the Memorial Cup.

Unfortunately, they did not secure the victory, but the experience gained was invaluable in understanding both the thrill of winning and the lessons of losing.

Now that the season is behind him, Korchinski's primary focus is to secure a permanent spot in the Blackhawks' defensive pairings. Head coach Luke Richardson and general manager Kyle Davidson will be closely monitoring Korchinski as they must decide whether to send him back to junior hockey this year or allow him to continue growing as an NHL player.

Richardson during an interview explained his thoughts on Korchinski.

"I thought he had a good camp last year, and obviously, he had a great season, Now it's time for him to rest and rejuvenate, and then show us that he belongs here next year at rookie camp and main camp. I don't expect anything less from him. He's a player with a high-end motor and the ability to skate well in the league. We want to ensure he's comfortable and capable of defending and performing all the necessary tasks for a defenseman in this league. It's somewhat uncertain at the moment. We're confident he will be here, but as for when we don't want to put a label on it right now."

This type of dilemma has confronted other teams over the years, with the question of whether returning to junior hockey will hinder or aid a player's development. Given Korchinski's excellent skating ability and overall presence on the ice, the question arises: Is he ready to take the next step?

Korchinski himself believes he can make the transition and elevate his game.
"That would be the best-case scenario, but they've got a plan for me, and I trust whatever they want to do with me," he stated. "If they believe that sending me back to juniors is the best option, then that's where I want to be. Whatever they think is best for me."

Regardless of the outcome, I believe the Blackhawks will allow him to see some NHL action, at least for the first eight games of the season. If his performance in camp is excellent, I can envision him remaining with the team for the entire year.
September 8   |   128 answers
The Blackhawks face a major question about their top defensive prospect

Will Kevin Korchinski become a regular NHLer this season?

Yes8465.6 %
No4434.4 %
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