In October, we looked at a few of the Blackhawks prospects that had performed well to begin the season. In mid-November, looked again at some of the stars-of-tomorrow.
Now that we’ve moved into December, let’s look around the Blackhawks organization at how some of the top prospects in the organization are performing so far this year.
Brandon Pirri is now leading the Rockford IceHogs in scoring with 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 25 games. He is plus-four with only eight penalty minutes. Since seeing action with the Blackhawks early in the year, Pirri has been outstanding with the IceHogs. He is tied for 14th in the AHL in scoring entering Tuesday’s action.
Jimmy Hayes has also been strong for Rockford this year. He has posted 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 23 games.
Andrew Shaw, a fifth round pick in the 2011 Draft, has been very good as a 20-year-old with the IceHogs as well. Shaw has seven goals and eight assists with 63 penalty minutes in 23 games. Shaw is playing under contract with the IceHogs, not on an entry-level deal with the Chicago organization.
Jeremy Morin has five goals and 10 assists in 23 games with Rockford, and has accumulated 56 penalty minutes.
Other than Brian Connelly (21 points in 25 games), there hasn’t been much scoring on the blue line in Rockford. Dylan Olsen has only one point (a goal) in 22 games, Shawn Lalonde has only four (one goal, three assists) in 23 games and Joe Lavin has only two assists in 22 contests. Ryan Stanton has six assists, the most among IceHogs defenseman not-named-Connelly.
Jimmy’s younger brother, forward Kevin Hayes, continues to produce well at Boston College. He has been credited with four goals and 11 assists in 18 games for BC this year. Hayes was the Hawks’ first round pick in 2010.
Staying in Boston, defenseman Adam Clendening has one goal and 11 assists in 16 games for Boston University. Clendening was a second round pick of the Hawks in 2011.
Also playing collegiate hockey, Stephen Johns continues to impress at Notre Dame. Johns, a defenseman, has two goals, four assists and 59 penalty minutes in 20 games. Johns was a second round pick by Chicago in 2010.
Another second round pick from 2010, forward Ludvig Rensfeldt, made the jump to North American this year and has done well. With Sarnia of the OHL, Rensfeldt has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 29 games.
The Blackhawks’ first pick in the 2011 Draft, Mark McNeill, continues to put up strong numbers in juniors. With Prince Albert of the WHL, McNeill has 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) in 32 games.
Chicago’s second pick in the first round of the 2011 Draft, Phillip Danault, is also continuing to play well. He has scored six goals and added 25 assists in just 28 games with Victoriaville of the QMJHL.
Another second round pick of the Hawks in 2011, Brandon Saad made all the headlines during the preseason and with Chicago when the regular season started. Despite missing a month with an upper-body injury (hand-wrist), Saad has 10 goals and 12 assists in only 13 games with Saginaw of the OHL.
Defenseman Sam Jardine, a sixth round pick by the Hawks in 2011, won a gold medal at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge as a member of Team Canada West. Jardine had one assist in the tournament.
McNeill and Danault were invited to Canada’s WJC camp. Clendening, Johns and Saad were invited to the USA’s camp, and Rensfeldt was invited to Sweden’s camp. In all, each of the Blackhawks top four picks in the 2011 NHL Draft has received an invitation to a WJC camp, while Rensfeldt and Johns were both second round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
McNeill was one of seven players cut from Canada’s roster on Tuesday morning.