The Chicago Blackhawks and defenseman prospect Luc Snuggerud agreed to a three-year entry level contract, the team announced Wednesday. Snuggerud is the third prospect to sign in the past few days, joining forwards John Hayden and Anthony Louis in the Blackhawks’ organization.
The deal doesn’t begin until next season and runs through 2019-20. For now, Snuggerud is reporting to the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL.
Snuggerud, 21, emerged as one of the best offensive defensemen in college hockey over the past three seasons. Originally drafted by the Blackhawks in the fifth round (No. 141 overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, he’s progressed into becoming one of their most intriguing prospects.
As a junior as Nebraska-Omaha, Snuggerud emerged as an offensive force with 11 goals and 20 assists in 39 games. Those are among the best numbers by any blue liner in college hockey, and while there’s more to being a defenseman than scoring, it signals his potential to produce at the next level.
In a great interview between Snuggerud and The Athletic’s Scott Powers recently, he noted that positioning is a core area he’s looking to improve in. That makes sense given the importance of keeping tight gaps at the NHL level, where even the slightest breathing room can allow an elite talent to make you pay. Measuring in at 6’1 and 190 pounds, Snuggy has enough size to fit in. He also has a fantastic name, so hopefully he pans out for that reason, too.