On a somewhat regular basis throughout the season, we've looked around at some of the Hawks’ top prospects and how the future might look at the United Center.
As we reach the middle of February, and need something (anything) positive to pick up our spirits as Hawks fans, here’s a look around at the prospects in the organization.
As we have spoken about all season, there are some good young players that are performing well in Rockford this season. Brandon Pirri leads the IceHogs with 45 points (19 goals, 26 assists) in 48 games. Center Peter Leblanc, a seventh round pick in 2006, is now second on the IceHogs with 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) in 46 games.
Tied at 27 points are two names that have spent time in the NHL in the last couple years. Forwards Jeremy Morin (9 goals, 18 assists) and Ben Smith (14 goals, 13 assists) have been solid all season for Rockford. Jimmy Hayes 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists) in 32 games with Rockford surrounding his 13 games with the Blackhawks (in which he had 4 goals and 3 assists).
In juniors, the Hawks have a number of prospects performing at an exceptional level this season.
Forward Mark McNeill has been named the Player of the Week in the WHL and CHL in the last month and his having a monster season. With Prince Albert of the WHL, McNeill has piled up 59 points (26 goals, 33 assists) in 53 games.
Forward Phillip Danault, the other first round pick of the Hawks in the 2011 Draft, is also having a great year. He has 52 points (10 goals, 42 assists) in 49 games with Victoriaville in the QMJHL.
Forward Ludvig Rensfeldt, with Sarnia (OHL), has also been strong this year. He has put up 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) in 43 games and had a strong World Junior Championships tournament.
Forward Brandon Saad has also continued to dominate the junior ranks. In 30 games with Saginaw (OHL), Saad has posted 54 points (21 goals, 33 assists) and is plus-23 on the season.
Forward Mirko Hoefflin, playing with Acadie-Bathurst in the QMJHL, is having a strong campaign as well. He has posted 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 47 games this year.
There are a few prospects putting together strong seasons in the college ranks as well.
Defenseman Adam Clendening has impressed the organization a great deal this year at Boston University. He has 2 goals and 22 assists in 26 games this year.
Clendening will battle forward Kevin Hayes and Boston College for the Beanpot championship on Monday night. The younger Hayes has six goals and 16 assists in 29 games this year for BC.