POSTED ON Monday, 02.15.2016 / 1:23 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

On Mondays, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight players who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect/system stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: RW Mark McNeill, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 2G, 1A

McNeill paced the IceHogs last week with two goals and an assist in two outings. The 2011 first-round pick tallied his 11th of the season in Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss in Milwaukee, then posted a goal and an assist in Sunday’s 4-2 victory over Grand rapids. McNeill now shares the team lead in goals (12) and shares second with 26 points in 36 games this season.

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.1.2016 / 1:48 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight players who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect/system stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Photo courtesy University of Michigan Athletics)

1st Star: C/RW Tyler Motte, University of Michigan (Big 10)
The Line: 2GP, 4G, 3A

Motte’s line at Michigan keeps producing goals, and the junior forward collected another seven points over the weekend. He shared the team lead with five points (2G, 3A) and paced the Wolverines with 12 shots on goal in a 7-4 win over Penn State on Thursday, then tallied twice more against the same team on Saturday in Madison Square Garden. The 2013 fourth-round pick now leads the nation with 22 goals in 23 games this season, while his 35 points rank third on Michigan, which continues to score at an NCAA-best clip of five goals per game.

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.25.2016 / 1:54 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight players who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect/system stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: G Michael Leighton, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 2-0-1, 44th career AHL shutout

Leighton appeared in all three games for the IceHogs this week, going 2-0-0-1 and totaling 76 saves on 79 shots for a .962 save percentage. The 34-year-old stopped all 28 shots he faced in a 1-0 win over Iowa on Saturday, marking his third shutout of the season and 44th of his career. Leighton is now one blank sheet away from matching the AHL’s all-time record, held by Johnny Bower. He has a 21-4-1-3 record this season, ranking second in the league in wins and third with a .930 SV%.

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.18.2016 / 1:35 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight players who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect/system stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Daryl Marshke/Michigan Photography)

1st Star: RW Tyler Motte, University of Michigan (BIG10)
The Line: 2GP, 4G, 3A

Motte and Michigan linemates Kyle Connor and J.T. Compher have lit up college hockey this season, helping the Wolverines become the top offensive team in the nation, and they continued their strong run over a weekend set against Ohio State. Motte netted a goal and an assist, then made his shootout attempt on Friday in an eventual 6-5 loss. Chicago’s 2013 fourth-round pick then exploded for five points—including his first collegiate hat trick—on Sunday in a wild 8-6 win, leading the team with eight shots on goal. With his four tallies last weekend, the junior now shares the NCAA lead with 18 goals in 21 games this season, while his 28 points rank third on the team and share 10th in college hockey.

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.11.2016 / 1:30 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight players who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect/system stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Daryl Marshke/Michigan Photography)

1st Star: C Tyler Motte, University of Michigan (BIG10)
The Line: 2GP, 2G, 2A

Motte helped the Wolverines complete an impressive sweep over in-state rival Michigan State last weekend, outscoring the Spartans 15-5 in two games. The 2013 fourth-round pick recorded a goal and two assists to go along with a team-high seven shots on goal in Friday’s 9-2 drubbing, then added his 14th goal of the season the next night in a 6-3 victory. Motte ranks third on the team with 21 points and paces the club with 71 SOG in 19 games this season.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.5.2016 / 3:56 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Joni Tuulola (left) celebrates with teammates after Finland pulls out 4-3 overtime victory to clinch World Juniors gold. (Getty Images)

Redemption and triumph were on the line on Tuesday as the 2016 IIHF U20 World Championship wrapped in Helsinki with two medal-deciding games. With three Blackhawks prospects in contention, Chicago was once again well-represented in the silverware department.

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.4.2016 / 2:49 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Gustav Forsling makes a defensive play in Sweden's semifinal loss to Finland. (Getty Images)

One game featured a showdown between neighboring countries featuring two of the most electric offensive teams in the tournament. The other, a classic rivalry between two well-coached and well-balanced sides. The semifinal round of the 2016 IIHF U20 World Championship came with high expectations and did not disappoint (despite low goal totals), setting up what should be a fantastic finale on Tuesday between Finland and Russia.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.2.2016 / 2:38 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Nick Schmaltz earned Player of the Game honors in Team USA's 7-0 victory over the Czech Republic. (Getty Images)

Four Blackhawks prospects were in action on the first elimination day of the 2016 IIHF U20 World Championship, which produced its fair share of excitement en route to settling Monday’s semifinal matchups.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 12.31.2015 / 2:53 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Gustav Forsling picked up a goal and assist for Sweden on Thursday. (Getty Images)

Goodbye, preliminary round. Hello, elimination games. All four Blackhawks prospects played on Day 6 of the 2016 IIHF U20 World Championship, helping their countries decide the quarterfinal matchups. Slovakia dropped a 2-1 decision to Russia, the United States overcame a spirited Denmark team 4-1, Finland defeated the Czech Republic 5-4 in a seesaw affair, and Sweden posted a 5-2 win over Canada.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 12.30.2015 / 2:44 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Nick Schmaltz tallied his first goal of the tournament in USA's 10-1 win over Switzerland. (Getty Images)

With one game remaining in the preliminary round for most teams at the IIHF U20 World Championship, three Blackhawks prospects picked up their first points of the tournament during a high-scoring day of action. Sweden clinched the top spot in Group A after blanking Denmark 5-0 on a 48-9 shot differential, Finland picked up their second win with an 8-3 result over Slovakia, and the United States rode a six-goal first period on its way to recording an eventual 10-1 rout of Switzerland.

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