August 11th: CapFriendly has reported the expected financial terms of the deal. Korchinski’s $950K cap hit is made up of an $855K base salary and a $95K signing bonus. It also contains $1MM in Type A performance bonuses and pays $82.5K per season in the minors. Interestingly, the contract will also pay Korchinski a $10.5K salary each year he spends in juniors, which The Athletic’s Scott Powers reports that the defenseman is likely to spend a year or two in the WHL.
August 10th: The Chicago Blackhawks made big moves to acquire the seventh-overall pick in this year’s draft and used it on super-talented WHL defenseman Kevin Korchinski. Today, they’ve officially added him to the organization, signing the young Korchinski to a three-year, entry-level contract.
If you want a defenseman that has the puck on his stick every time he is out there, it’s Korchinski, who is involved in the play at all times. This is not a player who relies on dumping the puck out or giving it to his partner to deal with; he wants to be in control of every breakout.
Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson explained on the draft floor that it was Korchinski they were always targeting as they moved up the board, by sending Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators for a package that included the seventh selection. If he hits, he’s going to be a tremendous addition to the team for a long time, anchoring their defense.
The question is whether or not he will hit, and quite frankly, there isn’t a lot to go on just yet. Korchinski played just 24 WHL games before the 2021-22 season, meaning his experience level is still relatively low to many of his peers. A June birthday, he had only just turned 18 a few weeks before the draft, and will likely take a little while before he’s manning the Blackhawks blueline on a regular basis.
After missing the cut at the current World Juniors, he is a strong candidate for the tournament in December and is expected to spend the season with the Seattle Thunderbirds once again. His entry-level deal will slide, provided he doesn’t play ten games in the NHL next season.