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Blackhawks ink 2nd overall pick Levshunov to entry-level deal

Candice Ward / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Chicago Blackhawks inked 2024 second overall pick Artyom Levshunov to a three-year, entry-level pact Saturday.

His contract carries a cap hit of $975,000 plus an additional $3.25 million in performance bonuses, per PuckPedia.

"Signing Artyom gives us the opportunity to continue his development in house and take the next step into professional hockey," general manager Kyle Davidson said in a statement. "He's a strong two-way defenseman that has all the tools to be a high-end player in the NHL and we're excited to continue his growth at the pro level."

Levshunov will likely spend the bulk of the 2024-25 campaign with the AHL's Rockford IceHogs.

He impressed as a freshman in the NCAA with Michigan State this past season, registering nine goals and 35 points - good for the second most among all first-year defensemen - in 38 outings.

The 18-year-old rearguard is the highest-drafted Belarusian player in NHL history.

Levshunov boasts a right-handed shot and is listed at 6-foot-2, 208 pounds.

The Blackhawks had to lean on a handful of rookie defensemen this past season, including Kevin Korchinski (76 games), Isaak Phillips (33 games), Wyatt Kaiser (32 games), and Louis Crevier (24 games).

Alex Vlasic wasn't classified as a rookie in 2023-24, but he held a major role in his first full NHL campaign, ranking second on the Blackhawks in average ice time (21:29) while appearing in 76 contests.

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