Blackhawks Keep Young Defensemen in Chicago on a Long-Term Extension

Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks
Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The Chicago Blackhawks have inked up one of their core defensemen for the long haul.

Alex Vlasic and the organization agreed to a massive a six-year extension on Thursday morning, with an average annual value of $4.6 million per season. This is a great deal for both parties and getting it done this offseason was a top priority for Kyle Davidson. The Hawks get a top-of-the-line, homegrown blue liner back on a reasonable deal to keep the rebuild moving.

Vlasic completed his first full NHL season last week and turned heads throughout the organization in 2023-24.  In 76 games played, Vlasic posted 16 points, scoring 2 goals and collecting 14 assists for a Hawks squad building its way back up, with the likes of Connor Bedard and Phillip Kurashev leading the way in the scoring department. 

The 22-year-old averaged 21:29 in ice time per game and possessed a plus-minus of -4. For a team that finished second-to-last in the whole league, Vlasic’s plus-minus mark is rather impressive, leading the team. His primary partner on the blue line, Seth Jones, finished the year with a -15. Vlasic’s rookie counterpart, Kevin Korchinski, completed the year with a rough -39 in his first NHL season. 

Korchinski and Vlasic have bright futures in this league after their first full seasons, no matter what the numbers say. However, Vlasic’s ability to post solid numbers in a tough year for the organization spoke volumes about his potential and how much he grew after spending most of the 2022-23 campaign down in Rockford. 

The former second-round pick is a Wilmette native and will remain the hometown kid on this Hawks roster for years to come. Pairing him with what's to come in the future will be exciting to watch.