MONTREAL — The Blackhawks made a blockbuster trade hours before the 2022 NHL Draft on Thursday, shipping All-Star winger Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for three draft picks, which included their first-rounder.
And with the No. 7 overall selection, the Blackhawks took defenseman Kevin Korchinski.
"It was surreal," Korchinski said. "I didn’t really see it coming. And just being with my family and experience that with them, it’s unbelievable. So yeah, it’s awesome."
Korchinski, 18, registered 65 points (four goals, 61 assists) in 67 games last season with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League. He also added 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 25 postseason contests.
Korchinski is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound left-handed shot defenseman who likes to skate with the puck and play in transition. He said he tries modeling his game after Shea Theodore, who's been in the Norris Trophy conversation over the last few years.
The Blackhawks feel like he has big upside, and he instantly becomes the team's top defenseman prospect.
"He's an unbelievable playmaker with the puck, gets up ice fast, he gets back for pucks fast, is really good on the power play," Blackhawks director of amateur scouting Mike Doneghey said. "He's different than a lot of the defensemen we've drafted in the last few years.
"He's really puck-friendly. He'll be a first-unit power-play guy, projects to be a first-pairing defenseman, can eat minutes. He's got that long body. So I still think a ceiling is there. Character references, even from the teammates that we looked at this year. He's a rink rat. He's there early shooting pucks, nicknames for everybody; he's a hockey junkie."