2022 Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25: Nolan Allan moves up to 15

The first-round pick from 2021 moves up after a strong WHL season.

Second City Hockey’s 2022-23 preseason Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the organization’s top 25 players under the age of 25 by Oct. 1, 2022. The rankings are determined by a composite score from all four SCH writers. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. All four ballots will be released after the series is completed.

When the Chicago Blackhawks drafted Nolan Allan in the first round (32nd overall) of the 2021 NHL Draft, the majority of the scouting reports detailing the left-handed defenseman extolled his defensive acumen. Allan already has ideal size for a defenseman at 6-2, 194 and all accounts credited him with solid skating ability for a player his size. While Allan’s defense was still impressive during the 2021-22 WHL season, the offensive numbers were the more interesting development. Allan’s 41 points from the blue line were tied for 22nd among WHL defenseman, and his points-per-game pace of was 27th. In a May media session during his brief cup of coffee with the Rockford IceHogs, Allan largely attributed those offensive numbers to seeing more time on the Raiders’ power play:

By all accounts, Allan’s defensive skills did not take a step back as his offense flourished, raising hopes that Allan could be morphing into an all-around defenseman. There’s obviously still a long path from the WHL to the NHL, but there’s a clear upward trajectory for Allan here, which is encouraging.

Allan also played in five postseason games with the Raiders and tallied just one assist. After the WHL season ended, Allan — and 2021 second-round pick Colton Dach — were called up to the IceHogs for the Calder Cup Playoffs but neither played during Rockford’s brief five-game postseason stint. Allan appeared at the Blackhawks’ prospect camp, with Scott Powers of The Athletic including Allan on the list of players who “had their moments.” His next appearance in Chicago could come in mid-September during the 2022 Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase, which the Blackhawks are hosting this year.

What’s next?

That prospect showcase appearance will likely be the only time Allan plays in Chicago until next year’s prospect camp. Allan will be back with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders for the 2022-23 season with the hope here being that he continues the upward trajectory from the season prior. The Blackhawks have a massive quantity of blue-line prospects right now with plenty of time being afforded to allow their quality to develop. Allan’s taken several steps forward in the last year but countless more remain along the way.