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On Tuesday afternoon, the Chicago Blackhawks signed defenseman Alex Vlasic, their 2019 second-round draft pick, to his entry-level contract. The deal is three years and comes with a $824,167 AAV cap hit.
Vlasic has played the last three seasons with Boston University since being drafted by Chicago. In three years with the Terriers, Vlasic has skated in 82 NCAA games and tallied four goals and 20 points over that time. He was named to the Hockey East honorable mention team this past season as a junior.
Prior to attending Boston, Vlasic won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2019 U-18 World Junior Championships and was slated to play for Team USA at the 2021 World Junior Championships but was left off the roster due to COVID restrictions.
The Wilmette, Illinois native brings a ton of size to the young group of future Blackhawks defensemen, standing 6-foot-6 and coming in around 210 pounds. His skating ability has improved year over year in his NCAA career and his shutdown-style of play lends itself to fill a gap in Chicago’s blue-line prospect group. There’s a decent amount of potential to his game at 20 years old, but it’s best to pump the brakes on naming him the next great top-line, shutdown defenseman in Blackhawks lore.
The Blackhawks said that Vlasic will join the team on Thursday. It’s likely that he’ll join Chicago for a short time and then see more ice-time in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs as the NHL and AHL regular seasons come to a close in the next month and a half.