One prospect debuts while the Chicago Blackhawks wait on two others to possibly sign

Defenseman Ethan Del Mastro debuts tonight.
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks were so impressed with how Ethan Del Mastro played in Rockford this season that he got rewarded with a promotion to the NHL.

Del Mastro will make his NHL debut tonight when the Hawks host the Nashville Predators.

Del Mastro is the Hawks' fifth-best prospect according to the Athletic's Scott Wheeler (a subscription is required to access this link) Mastro has good size for a blueliner at six feet and four inches tall. He had seven goals and 30 assists in 66 games for the Rockford IceHogs, the Blackhawks AHL affiliate.

Del Mastro will head back to Rockford to help the IceHogs with their playoff push. For now, the young defenseman gets to live out his dream of playing in the NHL.

The hope is Ethan will stick with the NHL club full-time next season. Although, this could be part of the development plan much like the Hawks had with Alex Vlasic. Vlasic spent the first two years of his professional career playing mostly in Rockford before finally getting a full crack to play in the NHL. Vlasic has gone on to be one of the team's best defenders.

While Del Mastro gets his moment, the Blackhawks will now wait and see if two prospects they have at the college level will turn pro.

Wheeler's second-rated prospect, Frank Nazar III, and eighth-best prospect, Ryan Greene, saw their college seasons end in the Frozen Four. Greene's Boston University was eliminated by Denver while Nazar and the Michigan Wolverines were ousted by Boston College.

Both wrapped up the sophomore seasons. Both are playmaking centers that can dish out assists at a high volume and also score goals when needed.

Head coach Luke Richardson is hopeful to get a chance to start working with Nazar.

The Blackhawks have shown they will be patient with the development of their prospects. It would be preferred if both started their pro careers and grew their games in Rockford. At the same time, it would be hard to see the Hawks getting upset if both decide to play another year of college.

The key is to just make sure they join the organization at some point before the Hawks lose their exclusive rights.