The Chicago Blackhawks have locked up a key member of their roster, as they’ve signed forward Alex DeBrincat to a three-year contract extension.
The team announced the extension on Thursday prior to their first game of the season against the Philadelphia Flyers. The deal will pay DeBrincat an average of $6.4 million a season when it goes into effect for the 2020-21 season.
DeBrincat was set to become a restricted free agent at season’s end, but the Blackhawks’ move to get him re-signed ensures that he will be a member of the team for at least the next four seasons.
The forward has exploded onto the scene in his first two NHL seasons, scoring 69 goals and dishing out 59 assists in 164 career games. Last season was a banner one for DeBrincat, as he led the Blackhawks in goals.
The team will have another decision to make with forward Dylan Strome, who is also set to hit restricted free agency this offseason.
The timing of the deal's expiration is noteworthy, because the NHL will have a new collective bargaining agreement when it expires, and the current contracts of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, which pay them $10.5 million per season apiece, will expire that same year.
That expiration will allow DeBrincat to command a handsome raise when his three-year deal expires, and it will be interesting to see just how much money he can command.