The Blackhawks have seven prospects participating at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, which is the most of any NHL team.
With the tournament kicking off on Wednesday and running through Jan. 5, 2019 in British Columbia, here are the seven players to keep an eye on:
Evan Barratt, F — USA
Barratt has been a pleasant surprise for the Blackhawks organization this year. He's had a breakout season in college, where he leads the NCAA in scoring with 29 points in 17 games.
A third-round pick (90th overall) in 2017, Barratt is the first player in Penn State history to participate in the World Juniors and has a chance to prove himself against the elite at his age on a big stage.
Adam Boqvist, D — Sweden
Taken No. 8 overall in June, Boqvist is the Blackhawks' top prospect and also the youngest one participating in this tournament. He turned 18 in August, and has been a driving force for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League.
Boqvist had only one goal in his first 15 games, but since then has eight goals in as many games and leads all London defensemen with 64 shots on goal. Expect him to play a top-four role for Sweden.
MacKenzie Entwistle, F — Canada
The Blackhawks may have found a hidden prospect in Entwistle, who was acquired from Arizona as part of the package that got Marian Hossa's contract off the books. He has 27 points (15 goals, 12 assists) in 29 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL, already surpassing his goal total from last year (13) and doing so in 20 fewer games.
Entwistle had a strong showing at the World Juniors Under-18 tournament in 2016-17, potting four goals and adding three assists in five games. He's likely to be competing for a fourth-line role and on the penalty kill.
Entwistle was drafted in the third round (69th overall) in 2017.
Jakub Galvas, D — Czech Republic
In his second go-around at the World Juniors, Galvas will serve as an alternate captain for the Czech Republic. He had two assists in seven games last tournament, which ended in an 8-3 loss in the bronze medal game.
Galvas has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 26 games for HC Olomouc after having 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 42 games last season in the Czech Republic's top division.
He was drafted in the fifth round (150th overall) in 2017.
Henri Jokiharju, D — Finland
Chicago is already well familiar with Jokiharju, who has played on the top pairing for the majority of the season and was second on the Blackhawks in even-strength ice time for defensemen before getting loaned to Finland for the World Juniors. He has 11 assists in 32 games.
A first-round pick (29th overall) in 2017, Jokiharju had four points (two goals, two assists) in five games at last year's tournament and is serving as an alternate captain this year. He's surely to play a big role for Finland, both on the ice and in the leadership department as someone who's become a staple in the NHL at 19 years old.
Philipp Kurashev, F — Switzerland
Kurashev has had a breakout season for the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, leading the team with 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) in 33 games.
Drafted in the fourth round (120th overall) in 2018, the Blackhawks are hoping Kurashev can take that next step this year and showcase his talents after having three points (one goal, two assists) at last year's tournament.
Ian Mitchell, D — Canada
Mitchell had an unbelievable freshman season at Denver, where he recorded 30 points in 41 games playing alongside current Blackhawks prospect Blake Hillman. And he's certainly elevated his game to another level as "The Guy" on the back end, leading all Denver blue liners with 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 14 games; both of his goals have been game-winners.
This will be Mitchell's first year participating at the Under-20 World Juniors, but he's grown into a leader on and off the ice and is one of three alternate captains for Canada.
Mitchell was drafted in the second round (57th overall) in 2017, and could sign an entry-level deal with the Blackhawks after this season ends.