Chicago recalls ’11 first-rounder McNeill


Mark McNeill’s less-than-ideal claim to fame might soon be a thing of the past.

McNeill, the highest-drafted player (18th overall) from 2011 yet to make his NHL debut, has been recalled by the Blackhawks prior to tomorrow’s game against Carolina, the club announced.

The 22-year-old has scored nine goals and 19 points in 29 games this year with Rockford, a place he’s become quite familiar with. McNeill has appeared in 180 games with the IceHogs over the last five seasons, scoring a career-high 23 goals in ’14-15.

It’s unclear if he’ll make his NHL debut tomorrow when Chicago takes on the ‘Canes at PNC.

One would think he’s champing at the bit to get in, though. McNeill is one of just three first round picks from his draft class that hasn’t played in the big leagues — the others are Tyler Biggs (taken 22nd overall by Toronto) and Zack Phillips (28th, by Minnesota).