There are a fair few draft prospects this year with interesting skill sets, and even more interesting statistical profiles.
Kevin Korchinski would definitely qualify under this moniker. The big blue-liner (6’2”, 185 lbs) has excellent speed and edge-work when he’s flying up the ice, but defensively, he could use some work. He has excellent vision and is a great passer, but he loves to hog the puck and take risky maneuvers when jumping into plays.
He is certainly a project, but one that could prove fruitful if his bad habits can be curbed.
Team: Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Statistics: 4 G, 61 A, in 67 GP
No. 7 (NA skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
No. 25 by McKenzie/TSN (midseason)
No. 15 by Dobber Prospects (April)
No. 13 by Smaht Scouting
What’s there to like?
Korchinski flies up the ice like a Japanese bullet train. His top line speed is very impressive, and he uses it to burn opponents in both the offensive zone and when he leads the rush.
He uses his speed to be both elusive and mobile. The plus-plus of his skating ability is that when combined with high level hockey intelligence, leads to plays like this:
The mobility and creativity that Kevin Korchinski brings to the table is so much fun to watch. Always on his toes and right after the initial pass, he skates into the offensive zone, goes forehand to backhand to forehand to protect the puck and then attempts a pass to the slot. pic.twitter.com/KiNggu6VIG— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) April 4, 2022
He’s willing to jump in on plays, and often he’ll burn defenders or just dangle them into next decade before using his mobility to open himself up as a passer. With the latter of these skills, he is equally as effective on the blue line when he’s walking it versus in the zone jumping in.
Korchinski is effectively a 4th forward on the ice, a playmaker on the blue-line.
What’s not to like?
Korchinski needs to work on his defensive game in terms of gap control and defusing threats up the ice. He has the habit of committing, which we’ve seen countless Flyers’ defensemen do. He’ll attempt to harass the puck-carrier, and while this can lead to an odd-man rush in best case scenarios, often he just gets beat.
That hockey IQ we mentioned earlier really only applies to Korchinski in the offensive zone and when he’s skating up the ice and not back towards his own net.
The scouting reports on Korchinski read a lot similarly to those of Erik Karlsson before he was drafted, in both the positive and negative aspects.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
The Flyers have a lack of offensively minded blue-liners thanks to the Shayne Gostisbehere
giveaway trade. So, in this regard, Korchinski would be a great asset for the Flyers. However, given how much NHL coaches hate defensemen who take risks, Korchinski could get stuck in the doghouse similarly to the way Gostisbehere did. Especially with a coach like John Tortorella (assuming he could still be coach if and when Korchinski breaks into the NHL), Korchinski will possibly be maligned.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
It would be another massive reach, but yes. If the Flyers are targeting Korchinski, they should 100% trade down.
Lastly, to wrap up, we’ll make one addition to the poll:
Nathan Gaucher - C, Quebec Ramparts - 66 GP, 31 G, 26 A, 57 PTS
“Lacking flash and high-end puck skills, one word will always be associated with Nathan Gaucher: reliable, because head coach Patrick Roy utilizes Gaucher in all situations. A big-bodied, two-way center, who possesses a nice scoring touch, he’s a safe pick even if he lacks elite offensive upside. - Austin Stanovich, The Hockey Writers”
Who should be #26 on the BSH 2022 Draft Board?
This poll is closed
Luca Del Bel Belluz
1. Shane Wright — C, Kingston (OHL)
2. Juraj Slafkovský — LW, TPS (Liiga)
3. Logan Cooley — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
4. Simon Nemec — D, HK Nitra (Slovakia)
5. Matthew Savoie — C, Winnipeg (OHL)
6. David Jiricek — D, HC Plzeň (Czechia)
7. Joakim Kemell — W, JYP (Liiga)
8. Conor Geekie — C, Winnipeg (OHL)
9. Frank Nazar — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
T-10. Brad Lambert — C, JYP/Pelicans (Liiga)
T-10. Cutter Gauthier — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
12. Ivan Miroshnichenko — LW, Omskie Krylia (VHL)
13. Jonathan Lekkerimaki — RW, Djurgårdens IF (Ligga)
14. Danila Yurov — RW, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
15. Isaac Howard — LW, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
16. Pavel Mintyukov — D, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
17. Jimmy Snuggerud — RW, US NTDP (USDP/USHL)
18. Rutger McGroarty — LW, US NTDP (USDP/USHL)
19. Marco Kasper — C, Rogle BK (SHL)
20. Owen Pickering — D, Swift Current (WHL)
21. Seamus Casey — D, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
22. Denton Mateychuk — D, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
23. Jack Hughes — C, Northeastern (NCAA)
24. Filip Mesar - RW, HK Poprad (Slovakia)
25. Kevin Korchinski - D, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)