The Chicago Blackhawks announced their two remaining RFAs have signed. Defenseman Caleb Jones, brother of Seth, and forward Philipp Kurashev inked a one-year deals with the team.
Jones’s deal has a $1,350,000 cap hit and Kurashev’s has a $750,000 cap hit.
Jones, 25, posted career highs in games played (51), goals (5) and assists (10) last year after he was acquired in the deal that sent Duncan Keith to the Oilers. He averaged 16:43 on ice per game this past season. And his 58 blocked shots ranked sixth on the team despite him missing 31 games because of injury last year.
Signing Caleb gives the Blackhawks five veteran defensemen under contract for the coming season: Seth and Caleb, Connor Murphy, Jake McCabe and Riley Stillman. The sixth spot and depth will be up to youngsters to provide, with Ian Mitchell appearing to be likely to get a long look at the NHL this season after getting a full season of heavy minutes in Rockford.
The third-round pick the Blackhawks also received in the Keith deal was traded to Arizona for a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft during this year’s draft.
Kurashev, who turns 23 on Oct. 12, appeared in 67 games for the Blackhawks last year. He was originally a fourth-round pick (No. 120 overall) by the Blackhawks in the 2018 NHL Draft; Chicago acquired the pick used on Kurashev from Nashville in the Ryan Hartman trade.
He scored six goals with 15 assists last season.