The Chicago Blackhawks and young forward Kyle Baun have agreed to a two-year contract extension through the 2017-18 season, the team announced Thursday. The one-way contract will have an annual salary cap hit of $625,000, per Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.
Baun, 23, is one of the Hawks' many forward prospects playing in Rockford. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Colgate last year, he's had two brief stints in Chicago totaling five games. In 22 games at the AHL level this season, he's recorded three assists.
The move keeps Baun around rather than let him become a restricted free agent this summer. The Hawks will likely once again be busy trying to stay under the salary cap and Baun could be a cheap, cost-controlled option for the bottom-six going into next season. If he's in Rockford, his full salary will be buried.
Baun has been touted as the kind of physical presence that the Hawks always seek out in small doses, whether it's from Brandon Mashinter or another big body. Baun might not be an impact player at the NHL level, but the team seems to like his potential as a depth option who might even offer a bit of skill.