23-Year-Old Center – Chicago Blackhawks
Mark McNeill Contract Information:
Signed a three-year contract with Chicago in January of 2012.
McNeill was sent down to AHL Rockford on Wednesday, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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Mark McNeill: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Mark McNeill.
McNeill logged his first full season as a professional in 2013-14, scoring 18 goals and dishing out 19 assists over 76 games for AHL Rockford. His pedigree as a first-round draft pick in 2011 would seem to solidify him as one of the team's better prospects, but with the Blackhawks already well-stocked at the center spot, it's not certain when he might permanently arrive in the NHL.
The-20-year-old forward will look to experience a full season in the pros with his junior hockey league career behind him. The Hawks 2011 first round draft pick likely finds a role as a third-line player as a pro, but might slot up to the second at times. His offensive ceiling is limited, though -- he's probably more of a 45-50 point guy in his prime.
McNeill will make the move from junior to minor pro this year, most likely in Rockford of the AHL. The young center is big and smart, and his character is absolutely off the chart. There's no glaring weakness in his game and he'd be NHL-bound in a lot of lesser organizations. But not in Chicago. He'd also be captain material some day, but Jonathan Toews will have that gig sewed up for another 15 years. He's going to be an exceptional third-line center and will overachieve enough to earn time on the second line, too. But don't expect him to earn a full-time gig until 2013-14.