Frank Nazar Scores Goal on First Shot of NHL Career

Frank Nazar's NHL debut was a big highlight in a rebuilding year for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Apr 14, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Frank Nazar (91) celebrates after
Apr 14, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Frank Nazar (91) celebrates after / Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
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Frank Nazar made his NHL debut on Sunday and the rookie out of Michigan made an immediate impression, scoring on the first shot of his career. Midway through the first period of his first game he took a pass from Seth Jones and beat goalie Pyotr Kochetkov stick side for the goal.

Nazar was the 13th pick in the 2022 NHL draft, but was playing for Michigan as recently as Thursday when the Wolverines lost to Boston College in the Frozen Four. The 20-year old gave up his remaining college eligibility and signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Blackhawks on Saturday. By Sunday afternoon he was on the ice scoring a goal.

Nazar's successful debut was a rare reason for celebration for the Blackhawks. The loss yesterday was Chicago's fourth straight and the team will finish the season with the second-fewest points in the NHL. On top of that, they haven't been to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2020. At least Connor Bedard lived up to the incredibly high expectations set before his rookie season.

There was a time not long ago when the Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups in six years, but that must feel like a lifetime ago in Chicago. Between Nazar, Bedard, and the second pick in the upcoming draft, though, there's plenty of reason for optimism.


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Stephen Douglas

STEPHEN DOUGLAS

Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.