2013 Rookie Tournament: Blackhawks’ McNeill, Danault building friendship as they begin pro career

by Jason Menard
on
Mark McNeill - Prince Albert Raiders

Photo: Chicago Blackhawks 2011 first round pick Mark McNeill has completed his WHL career with the Prince Albert Raiders and will most likely begin his pro career with the Rockford IceHogs (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

One’s a little bigger and has a bit more physicality to his game, while the other is slightly smaller, but has a little more offensive flair. One’s more serious and business-like in his approach; the other’s a little more jovial and laissez-faire. The question of which one preferred country and which preferred rock ‘n roll wasn't asked.

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Catching up with Finnish prospects Waltteri Hopponen and Joel Kiviranta

by Chapin Landvogt
on
Waltteri Hopponen - Finland

Photo: Espoo Blues right wing and 2014 prospect Waltteri Hopponen was chosen 10th overall at the 2013 CHL Import Draft by the WHL’s Everett Silvertips (courtesy of Martin Rose/Getty Images)

 

Hailing from the Espoo Blues organization stationed right outside of Helsinki, the 6’1”, 180-pound left winger Waltteri Hopponen most recently represented Team Finland at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament that took place in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia. Waltteri spoke to Hockey’s Future for a few moments after a 5-1 victory over Slovakia at the Ivan Hlinka.

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Video: 2013 Ivan Hlinka – Jayce Hawryluk, Canada

by Chapin Landvogt
on
Jayce Hawryluk - Brandon Wheat Kings

Photo: Brandon Wheat Kings forward and 2014 prospect Jayce Hawryluk was his team’s Rookie of the Year for 2012-13 (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

 

Team Canada forward Jayce Hawryluk may not have produced a great deal of offense at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, but he picked the right game to get himself on the scoresheet.

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Video: 2013 Ivan Hlinka – Joe Hicketts, Canada

by Chapin Landvogt
on
Joe Hicketts - Victoria Royals

Photo: Victoria Royals defenseman and 2014 prospect Joe Hicketts was a draft pick of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks but elected to go the WHL route (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)

 

If good things can come in smaller packages, then Victoria Royals defenseman Joe Hicketts is the very embodiment of this adage. The 5'8”, 174-pound defenseman turned in a solid rookie season with the Royals, and has gotten his 2013-14 season and NHL Draft year off to a good start as a member of Canada's Ivan Hlinka squad.

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Video: 2013 Ivan Hlinka – Brayden Point, Canada

by Chapin Landvogt
on
Brayden Point - Moose Jaw Warriors

Photo: Moose Jaw Warriors forward and 2014 prospect Brayden Point turned in a good offensive performance in his WHL rookie season (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

Team Canada forward Brayden Point saved his best for last at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, as he picked up two assists and the game MVP in Canada's 4-0 win over the USA in the tournament's gold medal game.

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