Analysis: Red Wings Potential Pick at #8, Frank Nazar

In July, the Detroit Red Wings will pick at #8 in the NHL Entry Draft. The Red Wings will most likely draft the player they view as the best player available. If the Red Wings decide to go local, Frank Nazar is a possible candidate at #8. He plays RW and center and would immediately bolster the Red Wings prospect pipeline if he is drafted by Detroit. Here is a look at one of the top forwards available in the draft.

Frank Nazar

Frank Nazar is a highly skilled smooth-skating forward who played this year for the U.S. National U18 Team and also played for the USNTDP Team that played in the USHL. In the 2020 OHL draft, Nazar was selected in the 5th round by the London Knights but decided to forgo the OHL so that he could play at the University of Michigan beginning this fall.

In 2019-2020, Nazar played for Honeybaked 15U AAA. He served as an alternate captain, where he played 55 games and scored 49 goals, 78 assists, and 127 points. Nazar also played ten games in the HPHL for Honeybaked and scored 12 goals, 12 assists, and 24 points.

In 2020-2021, Nazar was a rookie playing for the USNTDP in the USHL. In 31 games, Nazar scored 20 goals, 16 assists, 36 points, and had a +7 rating. In 45 additional games playing for the U.S. National U17 Team, Nazar scored 28 goals, 27 assists, and 55 points. Nazar also played two games for the U.S. National U18 Team, scoring two goals, one assist, three points, and had a +3 rating.

This season, Nazar continued his scoring dominance. In 24 USHL games, Nazar scored 15 goals, 20 assists, 35 points, and had a +26 rating. Nazar also played 56 games for the U18 U.S. National Team, scoring 28 goals, 42 assists, 70 points, and had a +38 rating.

Recently, Nazar played in the U18 World Championships. In six games, he scored three goals, six assists, nine points, and had a +7 rating. Nazar’s point total was tied for 9th in tournament scoring.

Frank Nazar of Team USA.
Photo: nhl.com

Frank Nazar’s Final Rankings

Frank Nazar’s prospect ranking for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft is all over the map. Nazar is the 9th highest scoring player eligible for the draft. NHL Central Scouting has Nazar as the 21st-ranked North American skater. Nazar is ranked as high as #4 by eliteprospects.com. Nazar’s consolidated ranking by all ranking authorities is #9. For this reason, Nazar will likely be available with the #8 pick when it’s Detroit’s turn to pick in the first round.

Why would Nazar be a good pick for Detroit?

Frank Nazar is a smaller skilled forward who is creative with the puck and can play either center or right-wing. With added strength and experience at the NCAA level, Nazar looks like he could be a middle-six forward at the NHL level. Nazar will play at the University of Michigan starting in the fall and will look to gain valuable experience against players that are bigger and older than him for at least the next year. Once Nazar dominates at the NCAA level, he will likely sign his entry-level contract with whatever team drafts him in the first round of the Entry Draft in July.

The Red Wings will likely have an opportunity to draft the Michigan native. Everything will depend on how Steve Yzerman and his management team believe Nazar will fit with the other Detroit prospects. I believe that Nazar will be drafted in the first round, but Detroit will most likely have better options with the #8 pick in the draft.

Final Thoughts

If Detroit deems Frank Nazar as the best player available with the 8th pick, they will not hesitate to draft the crafty forward. Nazar has the speed and skillset to play in the middle-six of any NHL lineup. He will begin next season as a freshman at the University of Michigan. With Nazar playing his college hockey so close to Detroit, the Red Wings will keep a close eye on the Michigan native. Once Nazar gains strength, he will likely sign his entry-level contract to play in the NHL. Expect Nazar to leave school prior to his senior year in 2025.

Previous articles in the series you may have missed:

Conor Geekie
Brad Lambert
David Jiricek
Joakim Kemell
Simon Nemec
Matthew Savoie

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