Blackhawks sign Sikura to two-year deal

Dylan Sikura and the Chicago Blackhawks agreed to a two-year entry-level contract, the team announced on Sunday.

Sikura will burn the first year of his deal playing in the last five games of this regular season as he is expected to be in the lineup on Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets, per the Chicago Sun-Times.

He has emerged as one of college hockey's top players over the past two seasons where he had 22 goals and 32 assists in 35 games in his last season as a senior. Sikura was selected by Chicago as sixth-round pick in 2014, but opted to finish a four-year NCAA career. 

Many speculated Sikura would opt to become an unrestricted free agent if he waited until August 15, but the 22-year-old revealed his intentions have always been with the Blackhawks prior to signing.

"Now to have the option, to have, like I said, the leverage is obviously a little different," Sikura told The Athletic earlier this month.

"At the end of my day, my intention is still there. They've been awesome throughout this process. Yeah, it's a big decision because it's your career, but at the same time you've got to look back who's been there along the way."

Chicago also signed Sikura's brother Tyler to a one-year contract for 2018-19, and he has been playing at Rockford in the AHL.

The Blackhawks will miss the playoffs for the first time in a decade, but with the addition of Sikura their future is starting to look brighter.

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