The Chicago Blackhawks had five of their six prospects skating in the IIHF World Junior Championship when Team USA took on Slovakia. Had Slovakia chosen to dress the Hawks' sixth prospect, the outcome would not have been so bad.
Goalie Adam Gajan did not dress for the final game in Group B play as he was being held out for the quarterfinals. He was having an amazing tournament and without his presence in goal, USA ran rough shed on its way to a 10-2 victory.
The four Blackhawks prospects on Team USA registered a point.
The Hawks' other 2023 first-round pick Oliver Moore got the primary assist on the game's first goal. He teamed up with Ryan Chelsey to set up Rutger McGroarty for a wrap-around score.
Moore, who has been skating as the team's extra forward, was moved up to the first line after Jimmy Snuggerud was ruled out with an illness. That assist was Moore's only point in pool play.
The Blackhawks' 2023 third-round pick Gavin Hayes and 2022 first-round selection Sam Rinzel picked up the assist on Team USA's second goal.
Hayes was later booted from the game for a game misconduct penalty. Hayes finished pool play with two points.
Frank Nazar was the other Chicago Blackhawks' first-round choice in 2022 along with Rinzel and defenseman Kevin Korchinski. Korchinski is not playing in this tournament for Team Canada since he has fully earned the right to play in the NHL every night.
Nazar had the primary assists on the game's two final goals for the Americans.
Nazar is leading the tournament in assists. He has not scored a goal, but he is providing a glimpse of his amazing playmaking ability. Imagine Nazar and Connor Bedard skating together. Add in the speed Moore has and the Chicago Blackhawks have a future potent top line. However, Nazar or Bedard would have to move to the wing.
The Blackhawks' other prospect in this game, Martin Misiak, did not register a point for Slovakia. He finished pool play with three assists.
With the victory, clinched Group B with Slovakia finishing in second. Both have advanced to the quarterfinals that will start on January 2nd.