Photo: Brandon Saad's third period shorthanded goal sealed a 2-1 victory over San Jose on February 22nd, marking the Blackhawks' record-setting 17th straight game without a regulation loss to open the season. (courtesy of Robin Alam/Icon SMI)
The Chicago Blackhawks have had the arsenal of picks to draft for both quantity and quality in recent years, leading to a prospect pool with both variety and depth. The team's top five prospects may stand out due to their overall upside and the likeliness that they will reach that level of play, but the rest of the list is far less clear cut as the prospects have yet to distance themselves from the pack.
Photo: At 6-5 and 202 pounds, Russian forward Bogdan Yakimov possesses the type of size that NHL teams currently covet in a forward prospect (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Considered one of the top birth years in Russian hockey, the 1995 class has seen several of the top players leave Russia to play Major Junior Hockey in North America, a fact that is reflected in this list of 2013 prospects.
Photo: Russian forward Valeri Nichushkin was not a standout for his country at the 2013 WJC, but he did acquit himself well in his first appearance at the U-20 event (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Team Russia's bronze medal can be deemed as a good result on home soil, though not the result that was hoped for at the 2013 World Junior Championship. They surrendered to Sweden in the semifinals in the shoot-out, but the win over Canada in the bronze medal game surely cheered up the home crowd.
Photo: Chicago Blackhawks prospect Maxim Shalunov was a top offensive performer for Russia at the recently completed Subway Super Series (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
After the very good results from the last two World Junior Championships, where they grabbed a gold and a silver medal, Team Russia will play at home for the first time since 2001 and are hoping for a better finish in 2013 than their seventh place showing in twelve years ago.
Photo: One of the top defensive prospects in the Chicago Blackhawks prospect pool, Dylan Olsen will look to continue rounding out his game in Rockford in 2012-13. (courtesy of Robin Alam/Icon SMI)
A significant number of early-round draft picks in recent years have put the Chicago Blackhawks system among the deepest organizations in the league. Although there may not be much in the way of blue-chip talent, the system has multiple NHL-caliber prospects at each position and plenty of players competing at the AHL level.