A look at how Philipp Kurashev turned his career around for the Chicago Blackhawks

Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks
Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
1 of 3

Following the 2018 draft, Chicago Blackhawks fans were excited about their two first-round defenseman, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin. The team needed to rebuild their defensive corps, and Boqvist and Beaudin looked like they could add some life to the aging group.

Little fanfare was made of Philipp Kurashev, a risky fourth-rounder with elite skill but defensive inconsistencies.

Fast-forward six years, and Kurashev is the only player from that draft class still with the Hawks organization. This season, he broke out as a reliable top-six forward with impressive scoring ability, setting career-highs with 18 goals and 54 points.

So, how did a shot-in-the-dark turn into a core piece of the Blackhawk's rebuild?

Following the draft, Kurashev returned to his QMJHL team, the Quebec Remparts. He tallied a modest 65 points in 59 games, but that was only five more points than he had the previous season. The Hawks needed more from the Swiss center. Kurashev began his first professional season in 2019-2020 with Rockford (AHL) and put up a respectable 19 points in 36 games, not bad for a rookie and certainly encouraging for Chicago’s front office.

Kurashev then earned a full-time bottom-six role with the Hawks in 2020, and produced 16 points in 54 games. Unremarkable, but good for eighth in team scoring on an incredibly weak roster. His ice time remained the same in 2021-2022, but Kurashev’s goal scoring took a step back as he only potted six goals in 67 games compared to eight the year before.