With the 7th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks selected from the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL, Defenseman Kevin Korchinski. A 6’2 185 pound left-shot Canadian from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan that just turned 18 a couple weeks ago. The Blackhawks got this selection after moving Alex Debrincat to the Senators, with General Manager Kyle Davidson later admitting he solely moved Debrincat with the intention of taking Korchinski.
The Hawks seem to be extremely high on this young lad, and rightfully so. Although I’m still a bit sceptical, as I always am with draft selections this high, Korchinski fits the bill of a young player ready to make an impact in the NHL. In his first full WHL season, Korchinski almost had a point per game, finishing with 4 goals and 61 assists for 65 points through 67 games and added 40 penalty minutes.
The Thunderbirds lost in the WHL finals against the Oil Kings this past season but Korchinski led the way as far as offense goes, scoring 6 goals and adding 13 assists for 19 points which was the highest amount for a defenseman in the postseason, and was 14th in the entire league in playoff scoring. While they did lose, Korchinski was seen as one of, if not the best defender throughout the entire playoffs.
Every pick is risky, we all know that. But, I really like this pick from the Blackhawks. If they’re willing to make this work and turn it into a bit of a project where he becomes a go to player in 2-3 years, I’m a huge fan, and I’m really pulling for the kid. He’s got everything you need to have a base to become an NHL player, so it’s up to him to keep putting in the work now, and prove to the organization that he can make an impact soon.