The Chicago Blackhawks don’t have a major checklist left for their 2021 offseason outside of getting Alexander Nylander a new contract. So they appear to be getting a couple of side quests done in the meantime. On Tuesday morning, the team announced a two-year contract extension for forward Mike Hardman.
— Mike Hardman (@MikeHardman19) August 10, 2021
Hardman is entering year two of a two-year entry-level deal he signed with Chicago last season after finishing his college career at Boston College. He is on the books for next season at a $912,500 cap hit, with his extension through the 2023-24 season coming with an $800,000 AAV cap hit.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) May 4, 2021
After tallying 22 goals and 44 points while playing in 58 games over two NCAA seasons with Boston College, Hardman joined the Blackhawks late last season. Hardman worked his way into a regular lineup spot and skated in eight NHL games with Chicago, notching his first career goal on May 4th against the Carolina Hurricanes and adding two assists in his first taste of the NHL.
Hardman is a physical forward that could fit into the Blackhawks lineup in a bottom-six role next season. If not, he’ll likely play top-minutes for the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL to get more significant ice-time. All told, a solid low-risk deal for a young, physical player with some NHL potential.