Photo: Prince Albert Raiders forward and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Mark McNeill has switched from being an offensive catalyst to instead be more of a role player at the 2013 WJC (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Bad news for Montreal Canadiens prospect Charles Hudon was good news for Chicago Blackhawks prospect Mark McNeill.
Hudon, who plays for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL, was unable to participate at the 2013 World Junior Championship after injuring his back. Enter McNeill of the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders, who replaced Hudon on Team Canada's roster shortly before the start of the tournament.
Photo: OHL rookie Alex Broadhurst is already making an impact with his new team as a key piece to the London Knights winning streak, which now stands at 18 games. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Chicago Blackhawks have 12 prospects developing in major junior and junior 'A' leagues across North America. Led by 2011 first round picks Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault, the group is largely made up of late round draft picks fighting to prove they are deserving of a pro contract.
Photo: Drafted ninth overall in 2010, Finnish Center Mikael Granlund has made his AHL debut this season. Granlund was widely considered one of the best hockey players not playing in North America. (Juan DeLeon/Icon SMI)
Below is the top-10 section of Hockey's Future's NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by the staff of Hockey's Future. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year.
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.
Boston College center Kevin Hayes will return to help the Eagles defend their National Championship in 2012-13. (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)
While there are no plans for the Chicago Blackhawks to take the ice in the forseeable future, many of the team's top prospects will still be playing with the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL as well as in junior, college, and European leagues around the world. Several prospects will transition to new levels of play while others will look to gain a foothold among the competition in the Chicago system. Below are a few of the interesting storylines headed into the 2012-13 season.