Blackhawks’ first-round pick Frank Nazar to have surgery, miss significant time

Frank Nazar, a Blackhawks 2022 first-round draft pick and University of Michigan freshman center, will have surgery to address a lower-body injury and will be out for the foreseeable future, Michigan interim coach Brandon Naurato said on Tuesday.

Nazar was already injured when he arrived for the school year, Naurato said. Nazar participated in Team USA’s World Junior camp and attended the Blackhawks’ development camp earlier this summer.

Naurato said Nazar will soon have the surgery and that his recovery timeline isn’t fully known yet. Nazar could potentially return in February, but there isn’t any guarantee he’ll return this season, according to Naurato.

“I think from our standpoint, we’re just worrying about his overall health more than anything like long-term,” Naurato said. “We just want to do it right versus rushing him back. When he does come back, it’ll be when he’s 100 percent. … If you wait or just try stuff out and it doesn’t work, you’re just pushing timelines back. Just trying to do what’s right by him.

“He’s doing OK,” Naurato continued. “Obviously, it’s a tough time for him, so just trying to get his spirits up. I don’t think he’s had a major injury before. Just trying to be positive. … He’s such a student of the game and hockey nerd, but he’s got to relax right now. It’s just tough. But he’s doing well.”

Nazar was considered one of the top freshmen in the country entering the college season after starring at the United States National Team Development Program. He produced 28 goals and 42 assists in 56 games for the program last season. The Blackhawks traded


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