Chicago Blackhawks

Could Dylan Larkin's Contract Set Market for Blackhawks Youngster?

Schmaltz and Larkin each have 20-goal seasons in their careers

The Chicago Blackhawks are going to have a big decision to make regarding forward Nick Schmaltz over the next few seasons, and another player likely just set the market for him.

On Friday, the Detroit Red Wings inked forward Dylan Larkin to a five-year contract extension that carries a reported cap hit of $6.1 million per season.

Larkin, a first round pick of the Red Wings in the 2014 NHL Draft, scored 16 goals and dished out 47 assists last season for the Red Wings, and also has a 20-goal season under his belt.

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With those kind of numbers, and with the NHL salary cap set to rise into the foreseeable future, Schmaltz will likely command a similar salary, especially if he can start to win more face-offs at the center spot. He scored 21 goals and had 31 assists in his second full NHL season, and at just 22 years old, he has a lot of potential to bring those numbers up in future seasons.

Schmaltz is entering the final year of his entry-level contract this season, and will likely be due a significant pay bump from the $925,000 that he is currently making. Other players, including Dylan Sikura and Victor Ejdsell, will also be due for raises following the coming season.

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