It was assumed promising college athlete Dylan Sikura would sign with the Chicago Blackhawks after Northeastern’s present season ends, but maybe that’s no longer the case
With the Chicago Blackhawks continuing to lose, things couldn’t get any worse, right? Well Scott Powers of The Athletic is now reporting that Dylan Sikura is undecided about signing with the Blackhawks.
If Sikura decides to pull a Kevin Hayes, this would be another blow to the Blackhawks this season. I cannot stress this enough, this would be a huge blow to the ‘Hawks’ youth movement and set the team back in the forward department.
I envisioned Sikura with Nick Schmaltz, Alex DeBrincat, Vinnie Hinostroza and Anthony Duclair as the new young core of the ‘Hawks. You pair those guys with Patrick Kane and resurgent Brandon Saad, you have a pretty young and hopefully good forward core. Sikura also would be a cost-effective option on a team in need of cost effective players for the foreseeable future.
Despite the reports, I do not feel the Blackhawks are out of it yet. They have a leg up on every other NHL team.
How to attract Sikura
The Blackhawks do have an advantage over other teams if Sikura did not opt for free agency. Sikura has to sign a two-year, entry level contract after his college career is over. Unlike other teams, the Blackhawks could offer to burn one of Sikura’s years on his entry-level contract this season.
The ‘Hawks also have established a pattern that they are willing to burn a year of an ELC for a college player. The ‘Hawks did that with John Hayden last season, allowing Hayden to play last year in the NHL. I would guarantee the ‘Hawks would do the same for Sikura.
The ‘Hawks could also guarantee Sikura a top-six forward spot right away. The way the team has been playing, Sikura would be a shot in the arm of the team.
Sikura has to know the ‘Hawks want him. The Hawks have been courting Sikura all season long and even signed his brother, Tyler Sikura, to an AHL contract. To Tyler’s credit, he has made the most of his deal. General manager Stan Bowman has publicly said that he does believe that Dylan Sikura will sign with the Hawks.
Sikura is currently the Blackhawks’ top prospect and has been a priority for Bowman all season.
If Dylan Sikura, did decided to opt for free agency, he would have to wait until Aug. 15. He is projected as a top-six NHL forward and would have a long line of suitors. He would be able to pick which team with which he signed, much like Hayes, Jimmy Vesey and Will Butcher have done recently.
Despite the Powers report, I believe the Blackhawks track record of signing their draft picks is good and that Sikura will sign with the team.