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.
The selection of talented Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen added skill and offensive flash to the depth forwards and defensemen in the Chicago system. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Three of the Blackhawks' new additions from the 2012 NHL Draft make their debut in the new edition of the team's top 20 rankings, but the most significant storylines heading into the season belong to the prospects playing at the pro level. The NHL work stoppage will lead to a bevy of talent in the Rockford IceHogs lineup, including players like Nick Leddy, Marcus Kruger, and Brandon Saad who would have had a good chance of breaking camp with a spot in the Blackhawks lineup.
Photo: Chicago Blackhawks prospect Phillip Danault will look to lead his Victoriaville Tigres squad to an extended season in 2012-13 (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Phillip Danault is entering his final season of junior hockey but he has some unfinished business to take care of before he makes the jump to pro.
Photo: Selected 18th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft, forward Teuvo Tervainen was a late riser in 2011-12 and regarded in many circles as a potential top 10 pick. (Ken McKenna/HF)
The Chicago Blackhawks selected eight players at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, including four forwards, two defensemen, and two goaltenders. The club's top selection, Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen, was the lone European prospect selected in this year's class while there were four Canadian Major Junior prospects and three NCAA-bound players drafted out of the Junior A and high school levels.
Photo: Boston College forward Kevin Hayes was a first round selection for the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2010 NHL Draft (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The Chicago Blackhawks enter the 2012 offseason with one of the deepest prospects pools in the league, but that fact does little to make up for two consecutive first round playoff exits. Rather than expecting new faces in Chicago, there will instead be plenty of competition in training camp to decide the team's roster heading into the 2012-13 season.