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Chicago Blackhawks sign prospect Chad Krys to entry-level contract

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BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Chad Krys poses for a portrait after being selected 45th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2016 NHL Draft at First Niagara Center on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Chad Krys poses for a portrait after being selected 45th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2016 NHL Draft at First Niagara Center on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks inked another one of their prospects to an entry-level contract today. Krys, a defenseman, has spent the last three seasons at Boston University.

The Chicago Blackhawks signed prospect Chad Krys to an entry-level contract today. The deal is worth $925,000 annually and will run through the end of the 2021-2022 season. The Boston University defenseman will forego his senior season and report to the Rockford IceHogs on an amateur tryout agreement, according to The Athletic‘s Scott Powers.

Krys was selected in the second round of the 2016 draft by the Blackhawks, starting a trend of the organization drafting smaller defensemen with strong offensive upside. The ‘Hawks expected him to make the jump from the NCAA to the NHL last season but instead allowed him to stay with the Terriers for an extra season to work on his development.

The defenseman, who will turn 21 next month, had a relatively steady year, despite running into injury troubles during the fall semester. In 30 games this season, Krys scored eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points. Overall, he racked up 58 points in 105 games in three seasons with Boston University.

Early on, many touted Chad Krys as the defenseman of the future for the Chicago Blackhawks. Since being drafted in 2016, he’s developed slower than many thought he would and the ‘Hawks have drafted other defensemen – Henri Jokiharju, Adam Boqvist, Nicolas Beaudin, and Ian Mitchell – that have pushed him down the prospect totem pole.

There’s still room for fans of the Chicago Blackhawks to have major excitement when it comes to Krys. Since I attend Boston University and watch college hockey regularly, I’ve really enjoyed watching him play over the last three seasons. His development is quite noticeable, too.

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Krys is an exceptional skater and flies down the ice to jump on the rush offensively. His vision allows him to find passing lanes that others might not be able to see, especially when he’s quarterbacking a power play. Much like many top NHL defenseman today, he’s extremely mobile and most of the time, that works in his favor.

His flaws are very similar to the deficiencies of many young blueliners currently entering the league. Krys is on the smaller side (5’11”, 185 lbs) and doesn’t get into many physical battles against opposing players. He uses his stick effectively to poke puts out and cut down passing lanes, and that’s an area he’s greatly improved over the last year or so. Krys also needs to improve on his defensive positioning, but he’s also gotten better at this area of his game, too.

I still think Krys has room to grow and improve in every area of his game. I also see Krys as a player who can perform better in the pros than he did at the collegiate level. BU struggled defensively this season, even with Krys and top defenseman Dante Fabbro, who also decided to forego his senior year and sign an ELC with Nashville. Even though defense isn’t a strength for the Chicago Blackhawks, NHL players provide much better support than collegiate players do due to better development and more elite skill.

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Much like the other defensive prospects the Blackhawks have, Chad Krys will be battling for a roster spot in the 2019-2020 season in training camp. He joins Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin as the defensive prospects the Chicago Blackhawks have signed so far this season.

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