Chicago Blackhawks Prospect Watch: Philipp Kurashev
By Jimmy Lynch
The Chicago Blackhawks need all of their young players to elevate their games to the NHL level if Chicago is going to get back in the playoffs anytime soon. One such player is Philipp Kurashev.
After jumping to the AHL, last season Philipp Kurashev has just one higher tear to reach – the NHL. Kurashev is a very crafty center, and he has proven himself throughout all of the different leagues he has been in. If it were not for an injury that sidelined Kurashev last season, he would have definitely ended the year with the Chicago Blackhawks.
In 36 games last season with the Rockford Icehogs, Kurashev had 7 goals and 12 assists. Since then, he has gone on to play seven games with HC Lugano on loan in the National League. During those seven games, Kurashev has five assists.
Even last year before the 2019-20 season, people were already mentioning the Kurashev should have gone higher in the NHL draft and that he was a steal for the Blackhawks. Kurashev could be a very reliable bottom-six forward for Chicago next season, depending on if the team makes any more moves during the coming weeks.
While Kurashev is a center, and Chicago has a lot of those, he most certainly could be moved to the wing and help the ‘Hawks offensively. Kurashev has yet to get any NHL action, but that does not mean he doesn’t have experience at some top levels. During the World Junior U-20 Championships, Kurashev had 6 goals and an assist for Switzerland.
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Kurashev is one of the most reliable and likely Blackhawks prospects to spend some time in the NHL next season. He does not have the hype that some other prospects have like Pius Suter or Ian Mitchell, but if Chicago needs to try someone new while a player like Alexander Nylander sits for a few games, Kurashev could be someone to turn to.
Kurashev has speed and definitely will have an opportunity to elevate his game to the NHL, even if it is just for 20 or so games during the season. One thing that will be interesting to watch when it comes to Kurashev is how he does with HC Lugano during the rest of this NHL pause.
If the ‘Hawks decide to pull him back when the NHL and AHL seasons begin in January or February, then Kurashev definitely might have a step on some of the other young players that were not playing during the past few months. We definitely will be talking about Kurashev again before the season begins breaking down how his year is going overseas in the National League.