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3 Stars of the Week: Oct. 20-26, 2014

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2014-15 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: RW Mark McNeill, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 2G, 2A

McNeill contributed points in each of Rockford’s three games last week, helping the IceHogs rise a few places in the division and conference standings. The 2011 first-round pick netted his first goal of the season, a shorthanded tally, in a 3-2 loss at Rochester on Oct. 22, collected a pair of helpers on Oct. 25 in a 4-3 victory over the rival Chicago Wolves (including one on the game-winner), then scored an empty-net goal to seal a 5-2 victory over Lake Erie on Oct. 26. McNeill shares the team lead with five points (2G, 3A) in seven games.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

2nd Star: C Phillip Danault, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 1G, 2A

Danault also had a big week for Rockford, picking up points in all three games (1G, 2A). He tallied his first goal of the season on Saturday against Chicago while leading the team with four shots on goal in the contest. The 2011 first-round pick also posted a pair of assists and now shares fourth on the team with four points (1G, 3A) in five games this season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

3rd Star: G Michael Leighton, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 3GS, 2-1-0

Leighton nabbed his first two victories of the season after backstopping the IceHogs in all three contests after Scott Darling was recalled to Chicago. Leighton made a combined 80 saves on 88 shots, including stopping a season-high 33 in Wednesday’s loss at Rochester. Leighton ranks ninth in the AHL this season with 128 total saves through five starts and fifth with 304:38 of total ice time.

Honorable mentions: C Vincent Hinostroza, Notre Dame (H-EAST); G Anders Nilsson, AK Bars Kazan (KHL)

Hinostroza posted a season-high three points (1G, 2A) in Notre Dame’s 7-0 win over Niagara on Saturday, including the opening and game-winning goal. Hinostroza leads the Fighting Irish with 61 faceoffs wins and 108 total draws and ranks third with a 56.5 win percentage at the dot.

Anders Nilsson continues to impress in the KHL, picking up a pair of wins in two starts last week. The Swedish netminder made 66 saves on 69 shots and currently ranks second in the league with a .943 save percentage over 13 appearances.

Around the system:

  • Skelleftea J20 defenseman Andreas Soderberg, Chicago’s fifth-round selection in 2014, notched a helper in the team’s only contest of the week, a 4-1 win over Lulea on Oct. 22... Sodertalje blueliner Robin Press picked up his team-leading 12th assist and 17th point of the season in a 2-1 loss to HC Vita Hasten on Oct. 25.

  • Boston College sophomore Chris Calnan collected a goal and an assist in the Eagles’ 6-2 win over Colorado College on Oct. 24; he now has three points (2G, 1A) in as many tilts this season... Anthony Louis scored his first goal of the season in Miami of Ohio’s 5-4 loss to St. Lawrence on Friday. The 2013 sixth-round pick shares third on the team with five points (1G, 4A) in six games... University of Michigan center Tyler Motte posted his second goal of the season in an 8-4 win over UMass-Lowell on Oct. 24.

  • North Dakota picked up a win and a tie in a two-game set vs. Providence over the weekend, with all three Blackhawks prospects seeing action. Sophomore center Luke Johnson opened the scoring in a 6-1 win on Friday with his first tally of the season, then added his second the next night in a 2-2 tie... Nick Schmaltz, Chicago’s first-round pick in 2014, contributed a pair of assists in Friday’s victory... Senior defenseman Nick Mattson logged six shots on goal and one blocked shot over the two contests.

  • IceHogs rookie Ryan Hartman had a big week, gaining points in both of Rockford’s win; he shares the team lead with five points (2G, 3A) in seven games... Brandon Mashinter posted his first points of the season with the game-winning goal and an assist in Saturday’s 4-3 win over Chicago... Matt Carey compiled a goal and an assist in three games for Rockford; his first AHL tally was the game-winner in Sunday’s win over Lake Erie... Swedish center Dennis Rasmussen also opened his scoring account in North America, tallying a goal in two consecutive games over the weekend.

  • Defenseman Kyle Cumiskey enjoyed a big outing on Sunday, collecting three assists—and First Star honors—in Rockford’s 5-2 win over Lake Erie. Cumiskey now leads the team with four assists this season... Adam Clendening got on the board for the IceHogs, notching three points (1G, 2A) in three games... Ville Pokka made his AHL debut on Sunday, logging one shot on goal against Lake Erie.

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