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PRAGUE — The Blackhawks got out in front of a major housekeeping item on Thursday, announcing that they have agreed to terms with Alex DeBrincat on a three-year contract extension that carries an average annual value of $6.4 million. The deal runs through the 2022-23 campaign.

It's great news for the player and team after we saw a plethora of restricted free agents take their holdouts late into the summer and some into training camp. And it comes at a number that's fair for both parties with DeBrincat set to become an RFA next summer.

"Yeah it's nice," DeBrincat said on Thursday. "I think to get this done early, it shows they have confidence in me. I didn't want to wait. I didn't want to be waiting around like a lot of the RFAs this year so it's good to have it done, focus on the season, be a good team and win some games."

GM Stan Bowman is equally satisfied about getting the deal done early because it gives him a better idea of the financial outlook a year in advance. 

"Great news for everyone," Bowman said. "Congrats to Alex, first off. He deserves it. What a great first two seasons he’s had. I think he’s just scratching the surface. To score 40 goals in his second year and I think he’s got a lot of great years ahead of him. ... From the beginning, it was apparent they wanted to get the deal done and I think it was a deal that works both for us and for him and rewards him for his performance and it sets us up well for where we’re headed."

 

Drafted in the second round (No. 39 overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, DeBrincat followed up his 28-goal rookie season with 41 in his sophomore campaign in 2018-19. He will become the third-highest paid forward on the Blackhawks next season.

But most importantly for him, DeBrincat signing his new deal one day before 2019 Opening Night eliminates a potential in-season distraction even though he didn't believe it would be one.

"I think from the start I always wanted to get it done early," DeBrincat said. "I'm not really worried about it. When they came to offer us a contract it was a pretty easy decision for me to get it done now and just focus on the season."

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