Blackhawks re-sign Caleb Jones, Philipp Kurashev to 1-year contracts
With the two formerly restricted free agents locked up, the Hawks have completed their offseason to-do list, barring any surprise trades.
The Blackhawks re-signed their two remaining restricted free agents, defenseman Caleb Jones and forward Philipp Kurashev, to one-year contracts on Friday.
Jones’ new contract carries a $1.35 million salary-cap hit, up from $850,000 previously. Kurashev’s new deal carries a $750,000 cap hit.
With the two of them locked up for 2022-23, Hawks general manager Kyle Davidson’s offseason to-do list is now essentially complete, barring any surprise trades before training camp opens Sept. 21.
The Hawks have 45 total contracts on the books — out of a maximum of 50 — including 21 one-way contracts (held by 14 forwards, five defensemen and two goaltenders).
Kurashev, who tallied 21 points in 67 games last season, is actually the Hawks’ third-highest scoring returning forward, behind only Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews — a stat that demonstrates just how drastically the Hawks gutted their forward corps this summer.
Jones, who recorded 15 points in 51 games last season, will battle prospects Alex Vlasic, Ian Mitchell, Alec Regula, Jakub Galvas and Isaak Phillips for third-pairing playing time this year.
Prospect defenseman Kevin Korchinski, the Hawks’ seventh overall pick, signed Wednesday a three-year entry-level contract with a $950,000 cap hit.
The start of the contract will likely slide until 2023 or 2024, though, if Korchinski returns as expected to his WHL team, the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Fellow first-round picks Frank Nazar and Sam Rinzel are committed to U.S. colleges — Michigan and Minnesota, respectively — and therefore won’t sign until they turn pro.
World Juniors ongoing
Currently participating in the 2022 World Junior Championships are five Hawks prospects: defenseman Wyatt Kaiser (USA), forward Landon Slaggert (USA), forward Dominic James (USA), defenseman Ethan Del Mastro (Canada) and forward Victor Stjernborg (Sweden).
The tournament, rescheduled from the winter due to COVID issues, runs through Aug. 20.