The Blackhawks began making offseason moves by signing German forward Dominik Kahun, Finnish goaltender Kevin Lankinen and defenseman prospects Lucas Carlsson and Darren Raddysh to entry-level contracts. The deals were all officially announced by the franchise Monday.
Kahun, Lankinen and Raddysh signed for two years, so their deals will expire after the 2019-20 season. Carlsson, the youngest of the group as he doesn’t turn 21 until July, signed a three-year ELC that will run through the 2020-21 season.
Kahun, a key player for the German national team, might stand out as the most notable player from the bunch. A 22-year-old forward who has produced both in the German domestic league and at the international level, there’s a chance that he could follow David Kampf’s path and make his way to the NHL within the next year.
Carlsson and Raddysh give the team defensive depth in Rockford. Carlsson, a 2014 fourth-round pick, spent the past few years playing in Sweden. He’s one of the Hawks’ top defenseman prospects after the top tier including Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell. Raddysh, 22, spent last season in Rockford on an AHL deal and recorded 22 points in 66 games, which was enough to earn an NHL contract.
The final signing, Lankinen, gives the Hawks another flier as they seek goaltending depth. Anton Forsberg, J-F Berube and Collin Delia are already under contract for next season, but it’s understandable that the team prefers not to depend on the exact same group after what happened this season.
Lankinen, 23, is coming off a stellar season in Finland where he recorded a .946 save percentage in 15 regular season games and a .936 save percentage in 13 playoff games with HIFK. The season before, he had a .920 save percentage in 42 games during the regular season. So at the very least, he’s a relatively young goalie who’s put up good numbers recently overseas. The Hawks will be hoping he can translate that success to North American hockey.