The Chicago Blackhawks were well represented at the 2023 World Junior Summer Showcase, which took place from July 27-Aug. 4 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich. Among the 45 U.S. players that participated, four prospects from the Hawks' organization were there to show off their skills.
Forwards Gavin Hayes (2022 third rounder), Oliver Moore (2023 first rounder) and Frank Nazar (2022 first rounder), as well as the lone defenseman in Sam Rinzel (2022 first rounder) all took the ice hoping to make a case to be on USA's roster for the World Junior Championships in the upcoming winter.
Each did just that, as the results from the competitive week of hockey brought forth plenty of excitement, thanks to the production by the four Hawks prospects.
In four games, Hayes tallied one goal and two assists and did not commit a penalty. His only goal of the showcase was a pretty one, utilizing speed to give himself a good look before he struck pay dirt.
One of Hayes' assists came along the boards where he did a good job of finding an open teammate to lead to an eventual quick goal that gave USA White a one-goal advantage.
Not long after he joined the Hawks' organization, Moore and his excellent speed was on full display during the showcase. In four games, Moore scored three goals and added one assist while not committing a penalty either.
Saving his best for last, all three of Moore's goals came in the final two games of the showcase, including a two-goal game against Finland in his final run with USA's squad.
Even with the 2023 draft being as loaded as it was, it's still hard to believe that Moore was available at for the Hawks to take at 19. His development as he heads to Minnesota is going to be fun to watch, and Hawks fans got a little taste of it with his performance at the World Junior Summer Showcase.
The most impressive performance, however, came from Nazar. In four games, he totaled five goals and three assists, which included an absolute clinic during his second game of the summer.
Playing for USA White in a 10-1 win over Sweden, Nazar made his presence felt with a remarkable four goals and one assist for a five-point game.
What Nazar did against Sweden was by far the best game out of any Hawks prospect and it had to give the team a lot of confidence as to where he is at heading into the upcoming season with Michigan.
After recovering from hip surgery that sidelined Nazar for most of last season, him getting extra game action and thriving as he gears up for the season is a very positive development to come out of the summer showcase.
Moore's roommate and teammate at Minnesota, Rinzel, played in four games where he had one assist and 12 penalty minutes while he split time playing in different defensive pairings.
In a story from Chris Peters of FloHockey, Peters mentioned Rinzel as one of the players who stoodout early during the showcase. He even mentioned that Rinzel was building a case to make the World Junior roster.
Time will tell if these four make their way onto the World Junior Championships roster. Regardless of what happens, there were plenty of positive developments from their time at the showcase.