The Blackhawks re-signed forward Dominik Kubalik to a two-year, $7.4 million contract Friday.
Kubalik, who turned 25 in August, finished third in Calder Trophy voting as the NHL’s top rookie after leading all rookies with 30 goals in 68 regular-season games and added eight points (four goals, four assists) in nine postseason contests. He was first among rookies with 38 even-strength points, 26 even-strength goals and 157 shots on goal.
The Blackhawks extended him a qualifying offer Thursday and re-signed him before he could take them to arbitration.
“I was nervous the last couple of days,” Kubalik said in a video conference call. ”It was something new for me. I’ve never had a chance to have conversations about the contract. In Europe, you get the offer, take it or not. So, it’s different. But happy it’s done and very excited about it and very excited for the season. I’m really happy right now.”
Kubalik said his agent, Jiri Hamal, asked for a longer term than two years. The two-year deal means Kubalik will be a restricted free agent again in 2022.
“Obviously we wanted to stay in Chicago, and stay there for longer,” Kubalik said. “For me, both sides should be happy so that was my first goal. I’m happy; hopefully Chicago is happy too.”
The Blackhawks acquired Kubalik’s NHL rights from the Kings for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on Jan. 24, 2019. He finished the 2018-19 season with 57 points (25 goals, 32 assists) in 50 games for HC Ambrì-Piotta, and was named the National League’s most valuable player. Chicago signed him to a one-year, $925,000 contract May 29, 2019.