BREAKING: Blackhawks sign Alex Vlasic to six-year contract


Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Kyle Davidson added another chapter to his apparent master class in rebuilding a broken franchise from the ground up on Thursday, signing prized defender and hometown kid Alex Vlasic to a six-year extension.

The deal runs through the 2029–30 season and carries a $4.6 million salary cap hit, for a total of $27.6 million. Years five and six of the deal include a 10-team no-trade list.

The pending restricted free agent played only 21 NHL contests prior to this season, but solidified himself as the team’s most reliable defender in a season where there were few bright spots. While it is still early in his career, the 22-year-old Wilmette, Illinois, native ended the season with top-10 defensive metrics in almost all categories. Such production would have had him in the running for the Calder Trophy with teammate Connor Bedard, if he had played just 10 less games during the 2021–22 season, eclipsing Minnesota Wild golden boy Brock Faber significantly in a number of analytical metrics.

β€œAlex made enormous strides this year and proved he is a legitimate top-four defenseman in the NHL,” said Blackhawks General Manager Kyle Davidson in a press release. β€œIn his first full season in the NHL, Alex established himself as an important piece of our young core, and we’re excited to have him with us for the next six years.”

Prior to this season, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound blueliner played 56 regular season and six playoff contests with the Rockford IceHogs during the 2022–23 season. During his time in Rockford, he posted 19 regular season points (two goals, 17 assists) and five playoff assists. Vlasic was originally drafted in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Blackhawks and won a bronze medal in 2019 IIHF U18 Men’s World Championship.

Vlasic will be suiting up for the United States at the upcoming World Championships, where he will also be joined by fellow Blackhawks rearguard Seth Jones.


Reporters and fans alike had been speculating what Vlasic’s contract might look like in recent weeks, but few, if any, would have foreseen the contract coming in with this combination of term and value. Many felt this AAV would have been realistic on a shorter-term bridge deal, with a longer-term deal holding a higher value. For the Blackhawks to lock up Vlasic for six years at an incredibly team-friendly cap hit of $4.6 million is excellent work by Davidson.

As Luszczyszyn noted in his tweet linked above, that dollar value is an accurate value for Vlasic at current, but will provide the team with an average value savings of $3 million per season through the duration of the contract. To lock in Vlasic for six years at that figure is the type of deal that will allow the Blackhawks to maximize their money once the team is back in the playoffs, similarly to how Duncan Keith’s bargain contract helped construct the Cup-era teams. While this contract looks good today, it could very well prove to be a pivotal part in a return to glory for the Blackhawks in the not-too-distant future.

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