The culmination of the Canadian major-junior season is the Memorial Cup, which will be held this year in Windsor, Ontario, beginning in mid-May and continuing through Memorial Day weekend. There, the three CHL winners -- hailing from the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League -- along with the host team will compete to be crowned champion of champions.
The first step to getting there, of course, is winning one of the three league titles, and three Blackhawks prospects are still in the hunt with their teams:
- In the OHL, 2016 second-round pick Alex DeBrincat has led the Erie Otters all the way to the championship series with a league-best 22 assists and 31 points. The 19-year-old has been held without a point just twice in 17 playoff games and will be expected to lead the charge once more in the finals against Mississauga. Game 1 takes place on Thursday at 6 p.m. CT.
- In the QMJHL, 2016 fourth-round pick Nathan Noel and free-agent signing Matthew Highmore will try to win the championship with the Saint John Sea Dogs. Noel, 19, has eight points (1G, 7A) in 14 playoff games so far, while Highmore, 21, ranks third among team forwards with 16 points (3G, 13A). Game 1 between Saint John and Blainville-Broisbriand will take place Friday at 5 p.m. CT.
- A fourth Blackhawks prospect, 2015 second-round pick Graham Knott, will also participate in the Memorial Cup with the host club -- Windsor Spitfires. The 20-year-old finished his best major-junior campaign to date with 52 points (15G, 37A) split between Windsor and the Niagara IceDogs in the regular season, then added four points in seven first-round tilts with the Spitfires.