Frank Nazar will try to give CH nightmares

Frank Nazar will try to give CH nightmares


The fate of Chicago Blackhawks prospect Frank Nazar will always be intertwined with that of the Montreal Canadiens. 

During the last draft of the League National Hockey League, presented at the Bell Centre, the Habs surprised many by proceeding to a three-team trade with the “Hawks” and the New York Islanders.

The summary result of this trade: Alexander Romanov ended up in Long Island, Kirby Dach in Montreal, and the Chicago team was able to set their sights on Nazar with the 13th choice of the auction.

A talented 5'9″, 175lb forward, the American was the third most productive player in the USA Under-18 development program last season, amassing 70 points in 56 games. He will continue his development with the renowned University of Michigan as the Blackhawks continue their rebuilding.

“I think it's going to go really well,” Nazar told the Bettman Tour website. I know a lot of people there […] and I think it's a great opportunity.”

A rocket on skates

Among the faces that are familiar to him, he will find Adam Nightingale, who led him for two seasons with the American program, he who has just inherited the position of head coach of the Wolverines.

“ He's a very explosive skater, Nightingale commented of his player. It is its quality that stands out the most.”

“What he really improved was using his speed without the puck. When you combine that with his competitiveness, it makes him a top prospect.”

Despite his small stature, Nazar also says he's ready to take his physical game up a notch this season. Opposed to much bigger guys at the college level, he will not have the choice to also pull his pin in the corners of the rink.

“When I'm on the ice, I never think about the possibility of getting hit,” he noted. I just want to make the best play at that exact moment to create a chance to score.”

“For sure I'm going to work in the gym to gain muscle and get used to this physical load.

A DeBrincat 2.0?

The most optimistic supporters of the “Hawks” – and the most pessimistic of the CH – will draw several similarities between Nazar and a another American small forward, Alex DeBrincat.

The sharpshooter recently acquired by the Ottawa Senators was drafted by the Illinois team in 2016 thanks to a choice obtained from the Habs in the transaction that sent Andrew Shaw to Montreal.

DeBrincat, who had dropped to 39th place in the auction due to his frail build, is now the third top scorer and fourth top scorer in his cuvée.

Thus, if the CH does not manage to straighten out the development of Kirby Dach and that Nazar reaches its full potential, we can expect that the DG of the Canadian blocks calls from the Blackhawks in future drafts.