Second City Hockey’s 2020-21 preseason Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the organization’s top 25 players under the age of 25 by Oct. 1, 2020. The rankings are determined by a composite score from three SCH writers and community member, L_B_R. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. All four ballots will be released after the series is completed.
The 2019-20 class of Rockford IceHogs rookies was important. Nicolas Beaudin and Adam Boqvist each made their professional debuts in Rockford. Chad Krys, Philipp Kurashev, Brandon Hagel and Reese Johnson, after brief stints in 2018-19, made their full season debuts. Kevin Lankinen helped take over the net with Collin Delia.
MacKenzie Entwistle was one of the less heralded rookies and yet he scored more points than all but Hagel, who had more five more points in three more games played. Entwistle’s .46 points per game mark was fourth to Anton Wedin, Hagel and Kurashev.
Entwistle projects as a depth forward for the Blackhawks. As a right wing, he provides depth at a position the Blackhawks are scant in and his size (6-foot-4) is something the Blackhawks have targeted, especially in the past two drafts with eight of their 14 selections in that span at least 6-3. Arizona selected him one spot before Chicago took Andrei Altybarmakyan in 2017.
Entwistle plays solid defensively and plays smart. He takes penalties when necessary, can still produce shots (70 in 56 games) and gets to the front of the net. He doesn’t add much creativity or flash, but he can be an effective on-ice presence.
Entwistle won the Most Improved player award with the IceHogs this season. He’ll look to continue to build on that next season.
Entwistle, who was part of Chicago’s return-to-play summer camp and was a Black Ace for the postseason, was not loaned to a European team this fall. He’s been working with Corey Stringer of Innovate Hockey Development in Hamilton, Ontario. How Entwistle returns to the ice will be important to see this coming season in the AHL. If he can continue to progress Entwistle looks like a future depth piece.
“It’s not too often you find a guy that can teach young kids and also be able to translate all of his knowledge and skills up to the pro level”. - @5twisty5 #InnovateHockey #Blackhawks #GoHAM #GuelphStorm pic.twitter.com/tE4bYn1hey— Innovate Hockey Development (@InnovateHockey) October 11, 2020