Mark McNeill
Image: NHL

Mark McNeill

Hometown:

Edmonton Alberta

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1993-02-22

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2011

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2011

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

1st round (18th overall), 2011

Weight:

215 lbs.

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History

2007-08: Mark McNeill was chosen in the first round, 5th overall, of the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft by the Prince Albert Raiders.

2008-09: McNeill spent most of the season with the SSAC Athletics Midget AAA team. In 33 games for that team, he scored 21 goals and 18 assists for 39 points. McNeill also received his first taste of WHL action as he played in 4 games for the Raiders, picking up no points in those games.

2009-10: In his WHL rookie season, McNeill appeared in 68 games for Prince Albert. He scored 9 goals and added 15 assists for 24 points. McNeill also played for Team Pacific at the 2010 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, scoring 1 goal and adding 2 assists for 3 points in 5 games.

2010-11: In 70 games for the Raiders, McNeill scored 32 goals and added 49 assists for 81 points while adding 58 penalty minutes. In 6 playoff games for the Raiders, McNeill scored 2 goals and added 3 assists for 5 points. McNeill played for Canada at the 2011 U-18 World Junior Championship, picking up 6 assists in 7 games. McNeill also played for Team Cherry at the 2011 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game.

2011-12: McNeill signed a three-year entry-level contract with Chicago in January 2012 and made his pro hockey debut with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate Rockford following his third season with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders. He skated in seven games for the IceHogs and was minus-two with no points and 12 penalty minutes. In 69 games for Prince Albert he was the Raiders’ second-leading scorer with 31 goals and 40 assists and was minus-10 with 48 penalty minutes. Prince Albert finished last in the East Division and had the WHL’s worst record; winning 21 games.

2012-13: McNeill joined Chicago AHL affiliate Rockford in March for the second straight year after captaining Prince Albert in his fourth WHL season. He also skated for Canada’s U20 team in the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. McNeill had no points nor penalty minutes and was -1 in five AHL games. He was the leading scorer for Prince Albert, which reached the WHL playoffs for the second time in six seasons. He scored 25 goals with 42 assists and was +4 with 43 penalty minutes in 65 games. McNeil scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was -5 in the four-game playoff series with Red Deer. He had no points and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in six games at the WJC. Canada lost to host Russia in the bronze medal game.

2013-14: McNeill skated for Chicago AHL affiliate Rockford in his first pro season and was the team’s fifth-leading scorer. One of two players along with Drew LeBlanc to play all 76 games for the IceHogs he scored 18 goals with 19 assists and was minus-12 with 46 penalty minutes. Rockford missed the AHL playoffs, finishing fourth in the Midwest Division. 

2014-15: McNeill was the leading scorer for Chicago AHL affiliate Rockford after getting off to a fast start in his second pro season. He scored 23 goals with 21 assists and was +14 with 23 penalty minutes in 63 games for the IceHogs. Rockford finished second in the Midwest Division and reached the second round in the AHL playoffs. McNeill scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +3 with 2 penalty minutes in eight playoff games.

Talent Analysis

McNeill is a solidly-built forward that plays with keen awareness at both ends of the ice. He has the ability to impose his will in both zones, whether it be by forcing a turnover defensively or facilitating the play in the offensive end. He is versatile and can play both center and wing. When at his best, his presence makes opponents tentative. However overall consistency can be an issue.  McNeill has shown that he can be more than just a one-dimensional player as he has been used both on the power play and penalty-killing units.  He has the size and hands to be an effective offensive performer, but needs to work on his focus.

Future

McNeill enters the third season of his original entry-level contract with Chicago and will start the 2015-16 season with AHL affiliate Rockford. Stuck in one of the deepest organizations in the NHL, McNeill has the potential to be a top-six type forward in the future but has yet to get that opportunity with the Blackhawks. His size and responsible, well-rounded game would make him a fine depth player as well.

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