Theare going to be leaning more on young players than they have in years, so it's time to start getting familiar with them. That's what the Top 25 Under 25 rankings are here for, and I'll be spending the next few weeks going through our list on the site.
Here's how our rankings work: Each member of SCH (Satchel, Adam, Robert, Brandon, Liz) came up with their own top 25 list after some very rigorous and informed research. We then assigned points to each spot, with No. 1 being worth 25 points, No. 2 worth 24 points and so on. The final rankings are tallied from the point totals each player received from the five lists. At the end we'll post all the lists so you can see how each of us differed. Only players who are age 24 or younger on opening night (Oct. 12) are eligible.
Now, it's fair to say that the Hawks have an interesting organization. Unlike some teams that can run pretty deep with quality under-25 NHL players, Chicago really only has one established player in. That will obviously change come opening night when the team rolls out a bunch of rookies, but for the purpose of these rankings, the vast majority of this list will be players who have never played for the Hawks.
That makes the job harder, no doubt, but it also helps us shine a light on some talented, lesser-known guys in the Hawks' system. The Hawks haven't had a first-round pick in two years or a pick in the top-15 since 2008, and in their win-now quest, they've traded several young players now playing significant roles on other teams. Despite that, the Hawks have no trouble running 25 deep with young players who can reasonably be called solid prospects.
But even having a decent system doesn't make ranking these guys easy. Many of them are still quite young and early in their development, so there's a lot of projection needed. Detailed scouting reports and video aren't always available, either. Still, there's buzz around the best of the best. It's just worth remembering that on a list like this, there's not a grand difference between being ranked No. 17 and being No. 20.
For today, we're starting with the players who did not make the Top 25 Under 25. These are prospects under the Hawks' control who either didn't receive enough points or didn't receive any points at all. After this, we'll be running through No. 25 to No. 1 with one post per player, so stay tuned throughout the month to see how we rank everyone. Also note that all listed ages are as of Oct. 12, 2016.
Here are the honorable mentions and everyone else who fell short of Second City Hockey's Top 25 Under 25:
The Next Five