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THREE STARS: Entwistle, Beaudin advance in CHL Playoffs

A weekly look at how Blackhawks prospects are performing at their various levels

by Austin Siegel / blackhawks.com

Every Thursday throughout the 2018-19 season and playoffs, Blackhawks.com will highlight prospects who have stood out for their junior, college or professional team in the previous week's action.

Here are this week's Three Stars.

FIRST STAR
RW MacKenzie Entwistle (Guelph)
THE NUMBERS: 11 GP, 5 G, 7 A (No. 4 Guelph faces No. 2 Saginaw in OHL Semis)

Down 3-0 to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, MacKenzie Entwistle and the Guelph Storm pulled off the most unlikely comeback of this season's OHL playoffs, knocking off the London Knights in seven games. To put this in perspective, the Knights outscored Guelph 17-6 through the first three games of the series and the Storm trailed 3-2 heading into the third period of a decisive Game 7. No problem for Entwistle and friends. The Blackhawks prospect scored twice in the final frame of Tuesday's winner-take-all matchup, powering the Storm to a 6-3 win over Adam Boqvist and the Knights. The Game 7 performance boosts Entwistle's playoff numbers to an impressive five goals and seven assists through the first two rounds. Guelph and the #2 seeded Saginaw Spirit begin their Western Conference Finals matchup tonight in Michigan. 

SECOND STAR
D Nicolas Beaudin (Drummondville)
THE NUMBERS: 10 GP, 2 G, 5 A (No. 2 Drummondville faces No. 1 Halifax in QMJHL Semis)

With Adam Boqvist done for the season after London bowed out in the OHL playoffs, Nicolas Beaudin is the only Blackhawks first-round pick still playing hockey in 2019. Coming off QMJHL Second Star of the Week honors for his performance in the first round, Beaudin helped lead the Voltigeurs to a 4-1 series win over the Sherbrooke Phoenix in the QMJHL's Western Conference semifinals this week, with three assists in the series. Drummondville will now face the Halifax Mooseheads - including Chicago prospects Alexis Gravel and Jake Ryczek - for a spot in the QMJHL championship. 

THIRD STAR
D Ian Mitchell

After his sophomore season at the University of Denver ended in last week's Frozen Four, one of the top defensemen in the Blackhawks organization announced he will return to school for the 2019-20 season. Mitchell is part of a crowded Blackhawks defensive pipeline, including first-round draft picks like Adam Boqvist, Nicolas Beaudin and Henri Jokiharju, but the 20-year-old Canadian could be the real deal. He led Pioneer blueliners in goals, assists, and points this season, and was the only NCAA player included on Canada's World Junior Championship roster. Not a bad return for a second-round draft pick, even if Chicago will have to wait another year for his services. 

 ROCKFORD REPORT:

The IceHogs saw their 2018-19 season come to an end over the weekend, with losses to Iowa and Milwaukee snuffing out any playoff hopes. The IceHogs numbers this year showcase a wealth of options in net, as Collin Delia, Anton Forsberg, and Kevin Lankinen combined to finish the 2018-19 season with the highest save percentage in the AHL. Luke Johnson also posted a career year, after beginning 2019 in the NHL, collecting 31 points (18 G, 13 A) for Rockford this season. 

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