These 5 Chicago Blackhawks Prospects Were Named to Their U20 National Team
A National Hockey League (NHL) Original 6 franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks have a storied history that includes winning three Stanley Cups from 2009–10 to 2014–15. However, the team has made the playoffs just once in the last five seasons and is currently in a rebuilding phase where they’re looking to draft and develop young players in hopes they’ll become capable contributors at the NHL level.
Chicago traded key players like Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach for picks at the 2022 NHL Draft. The team ended up drafting 11 players, including three in the first round. The team made eight selections in the 2021 NHL Draft. As a result, Chicago now has plenty of young talent playing junior hockey in North America and professionally in Europe.
Five of its prospects were selected to represent their country’s U20 national team at the 2023 World Junior Championships in Canada.
1. Kevin Korchinski
Defenseman Kevin Korchinski was one of five Blackhawks prospects invited to participate in Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp in December. Ryan Greene, a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft playing for Boston University, was the only of the five Blackhawks prospects invited not to make the Canadian U20 team.
Korchinski, selected seventh overall in the 2022 NHL Draft with one of the picks Chicago acquired from Ottawa in the DeBrincat deal, is an 18-year-old from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound defenseman recorded 65 points in 67 regular-season games for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL) last season. He finished second among all defensemen in points and was named to the WHL (US) Second All-Star Team. He signed an entry-level deal with Chicago this past August.
“We knew that we wanted Kevin to be a big part of this team’s future, so we’re happy to have him within our system, developing in this early part of his professional career,” said Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson of the signing. “His confidence and positive attitude paired with his size will be assets as he continues to grow his game in the WHL this upcoming season.”
2. Nolan Allan
Selected 32nd overall in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft, Nolan Allan was one of three Blackhawks defense prospects to make the Canadian U20 team. Also born in Saskatoon, Allan spent the last two seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL. He had just two points in 16 games with the Raiders during his draft year but recorded seven goals and 34 assists for 41 points in 65 games in 2021–22.
Prior to attending Canada’s selection camp, Allan was traded to the Seattle Thunderbirds. He and Korchinski were two of four Thunderbird players selected to the
3. Ethan Del Mastro
Ethan Del Mastro was the only Blackhawks player named to the Canadian roster with World Junior Championship experience. A fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, Del Mastro was part of the Canadian team that won the gold medal in last year’s World Junior Championship. He also represented Canada at the U18 World Junior Championship and U17 World Hockey Challenge.
A 6-foot-4, 209-pound native of Freelton, Ontario, Del Mastro is primarily known for his physical defensive play but has shown improvements in offensive ability in recent years. He had just seven points through 57 games during his first two seasons with the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) but recorded 48 points in 68 games during the 2021–22 season. He is now in his second season as captain of the Steelheads.
4. Colton Dach
The younger brother of former Blackhawks player Kirby Dach, Colton is a physical 6-foot-4, 196-pound forward from St. Albert, Alberta. He was selected by Chicago in the second round, 62nd overall, of the 2021 NHL Draft after recording 20 points in 20 games with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL. Dealt to the Kelowna Rockets the following offseason, Colton registered a career-best 79 points (29 goals and 50 assists) in 61 games. He was named the Rockets captain to begin the 2022–23 season.
His brother Kirby was supposed to captain Canada’s U20 team at the 2021 World Junior Championship but missed the tournament after suffering a wrist injury in a pre-tournament game against Russia.
5. Victor Stjernborg
Victor Stjernborg was the only non-Canadian Blackhawks player selected to a national roster for the 2023 World Junior Championships. A fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, Stjernborg played junior hockey in Sweden for the Vaxjo Lakers Jr. from 2018 to 2021. He recorded 17 points in 19 games for the team in his draft year and had a combined six points in 45 games for the senior team over the last two seasons.
Stjernborg, selected to captain Sweden at the 2023 World Junior Championships, was pointless in seven games for Sweden at last year’s tournament. He’s primarily known for his defensive acumen.