Blackhawks Lock Up Key Forward Piece, Have Plans For Next Extension

On Monday, the Blackhawks locked up C Jason Dickinson to a two-year extension. That wasn't the only good news, though, as G Petr Mrazek could be the next to receive a contract offer.
Blackhawks C Jason Dickson signed a two-year, $8.5 million extension on Tuesday.
Blackhawks C Jason Dickson signed a two-year, $8.5 million extension on Tuesday. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks helped lock down their offense's future by extending a key forward on Tuesday.

The Blackhawks have signed center Jason Dickinson to a two-year, $8.5 million contract extension, per Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli. It's quite the deserved raise considering just how important the 28-year-old veteran has been when it comes to stabilizing the top-nine forward group in a rebuilding year.

Blackhawks News: Dickinson Contract Extension

Blackhawks fans can let out a sigh of relief now that the extension is official. After all, it wasn't that long ago that Dickinson — who was set to hit free agency this offseason — was involved in trade rumors, resulting in general manager Kyle Davidson being asked about the center's future with the franchise in an interview with The Athletic.

After beginning his career with the Dallas Stars and a brief stint in Vancouver, Dickson joined the Blackhawks in October 2022 after being acquired (along with a second-round pick) from the Canucks in exchange for defenseman Riley Stillman.

It didn't take long for the trade to look like a massive win for Chicago. Dickinson had the best performance of his career during the 2022-23 campaign, registering career highs in assists (21) and points (30) through 78 games.

But even though some Blackhawks fans would've been thrilled if he replicated those results this year, the Georgetown, ON native took things to another new level.

As of Jan. 16, Dickinson has 21 points through 43 games, which includes a career-high 14 goals while boasting a team-best plus-7 plus/minus rating. Assuming that this trajectory continues, the former 2013 first-rounder is on pace for the campaign with 27 goals and 13 assists.

For a versatile center who can also play on the power play and penalty kill, he's well worth the $4.25 million average annual value (AAV) he'll carry starting next season.

Blackhawks Rumors: Mrazek Next for Extension?

While Dickinson's extension took over headlines on Tuesday, an interesting tidbit is flying under the radar. After announcing the extension, Seravalli also "wouldn't be shocked" if the Blackhawks' next move is to extend goaltender Petr Mrazek.

In a season where Chicago was pegged to be one of the worst clubs, Mrazek has excelled at keeping the Blackhawks in games. The 31-year-old netminder has backstopped his way to a 10-16-1 record through 29 games (27 starts), boasting a .904 save percentage and 3.13 goals-against average with one shutout win.

While those numbers are far from his best, his 0.3 goals saved above average prove that he's overperforming given the team in front of him.

Mrazek is also set to hit free agency this summer, so it makes sense that the Blackhawks want to lock him down sooner rather than later. Considering how his current contract carries an AAV of $3.8 million, I wouldn't be surprised if an extension involved a similar number.

This year's NHL trade deadline takes place on Friday, March 8, meaning Blackhawks fans will likely have to deal with Mrazek-center trade proposals until then or an extension is signed.