Chicago Blackhawks 2022 prospect rankings, Top 25 Under 25: Wyatt Kaiser at 8


Second City Hockey Preseason 2022-23 black Eagle The Top 25 Under 25 Series ranks the group’s prime 25 players beneath the age of 25 as of October 1, 2022. The rankings are determined by the blended scores of the 4 SCH authors. Each participant makes use of their very personal current potential and manufacturing metrics in direction of future projections to rank each participant. The 4 ballots could be launched after the gathering is over.

The Chicago Blackhawks are at current overloaded in the case of defensive prospects, so it’s no shock that six of the ultimate 10 on this itemizing are blue strains, and we nonetheless have further in order so as to add. This incorporates 2020 third-round Wyatt Kaiser, a defender whose stake has steadily elevated inside the group since.

As a freshman inside the 2020-21 season, Kaiser ended the yr as a result of the No. 1 for Minnesota-Duluth on TOI, and he continued that perform as a sophomore. His elements manufacturing had a nice bounce — he went from 0.36 elements per recreation to 0.56 — all whereas persevering with to doc most likely essentially the most minutes in all situations for the Bulldogs — along with on penalty kills.

Kaiser moreover completed a three-point, five-game stint with Team USA at World Juniors 2022 the place he was the very best participant from their group-play battle in direction of Austria. It wasn’t the fitting match for Kaiser – he had an error in direction of Germany that seen his side sidelined – but it surely certainly speaks volumes for the way in which the nationwide educating staff seen him as he rose to the very best pair when Luke Hughes was injured. . in direction of the Czechs.

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Kaiser’s greatest strengths are his skating and transition skills, talents which have solely not too way back improved in his second season inside the NCAA. He boasts unbelievable straight-line tempo and unbelievable agility, and he turns into far more environment friendly at using these two attributes always to bop earlier and embody opponents inside the neutral zone. Combined alongside along with his above-average puck coping with, Kaiser confirmed more and more extra on the scorecard offensively as he progressed. While he’s unlikely to be flashy in the case of offense, Kaiser’s breakthrough potential means he’ll must contribute some secondary scores as he transitions to a greater league.

At events, Kaiser can get overzealous with reference to coming into into the game, leading to some turnover factors, nevertheless that’s far more minimal inside the second yr.

Kaiser moreover relies upon intently on his skating skills to survive in every the neutral and defensive zones. He excels at closing gaps inside the neutral zone, using his clear skating and great edge work to defend the blue strains successfully. That Edgework may also be useful in its private zone for maneuvering into good taking footage and passing positions. And, in spite of everything, Kaiser’s tempo lends itself to being an excellent backchecker, contributing to his virtually 60 p.c chip-picking success. Like his breakout above, Kaiser can be too aggressive on safety at events, nevertheless his tempo usually permits him to recuperate.

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Speaking of take-ups, it’s value noting that Kaiser will get further versatile in how he approaches this by getting stronger typically. In the earlier, Kaiser primarily used stickwork, elusive skating, and a extreme IQ to revive and protect possession, nevertheless together with muscle over time—over 20 kilos since his navy service—Kaiser can now get muscle or further physique when needed. . This is an area that additionally needs enchancment, but it surely certainly’s good to see enhancements.

Kaiser’s ranking above the rest, further NHL ready safety prospects like Alex Vlasic and Alec Regula might seem odd, nevertheless realistically, they’re all very shut to 1 one other and the excellence of their current rankings on this T25U25 roster is pretty negligible. Vlasic is further of a stay-at-home defensive kind who can contribute on the offensive often. Regula, as a defender, is further attacking however as well as takes good accountability for his private targets. Kaiser is a two-way defender with superior skating potential and a composure in his recreation that’s not usually ignored. All three players have a sturdy likelihood of establishing the NHL at this stage and have the similar ceiling projection as the very best 4 defenders, nevertheless Kaiser’s further balanced technique and projectable inclination improve the bottom barely in contrast.

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What’s subsequent?

Kaiser will return for his junior season at Minnesota-Duluth the place he’ll as quickly as as soon as extra be tasked with prime safety duties. There’s been some hype spherical Kaiser ever since he positioned on a defensive clinic by way of the 2021 NCAA five-plus postseason recreation in direction of North Dakota—he’s been on the ice solely to one The scoring chances bought right here in direction of a draw at virtually 60 minutes — but it surely certainly’s nonetheless important for followers to take care of expectations in check, notably virtually about his timeline to the NHL. Kaiser has taken very optimistic steps since his signing, nevertheless he solely turned 20 in July, so he’s undoubtedly nonetheless inside the maturation part of his progress. That being talked about, counting on how deep the Bulldogs go this yr, it wouldn’t be beautiful to see Kaiser sign with the Blackhawks and play a recreation or two merely to get his toes moist, as Vlasic did this spring.

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