Chicago Blackhawks prospect Frank Nazar could miss his entire freshman season at the University of Michigan, Wolverines coach Brandon Naurato told The Athletic.
Naurato said Nazar will have surgery on a lower-body injury, and could return in February.
Selected No. 13 overall in the 2022 NHL Draft by the Blackhawks, Nazar has yet to play for the University of Michigan. The 5-foot-9, 174-pound forward was not in the lineup for the Wolverines' exhibition against Windsor or the season-opening series against Lindenwood.
Nazar was expected to fill a top-six center role. Chicago Steel alum and 2023 top prospect Adam Fantilli and undrafted senior Nick Granowicz occupy the top two spots. If Nazar returns this season, he could slot into the No. 1 or 2 center spot, while Granowicz moves down.
Nazar scored 70 points in 56 games for the U.S. National Team Development Program last season. He was also part of Team USA's silver-medal squad at the U18 World Junior Championship, where he scored nine points in six games.
What's On Tap Next?
Even without Frank Nazar, Michigan is worth watching for any hockey fan because of its highly-talented roster. Chicago hockey fans can see familiar players in Fantilli and fellow Steel alum Luca Fantilli and Mackie Samoskevich (Panthers).