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Blackhawks officially sign top defenseman prospect Ian Mitchell to 3-year, $2.7 million contract

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Chicago will not burn the first season of his contract, which will start for the 2020-21 season.

2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championships - Semifinals Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

Ian Mitchell is not eligible to play for the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers or Playoffs, but the team officially signed him to a three-year entry-level contract with a $2.775 million salary cap hit ($925,000 per season) on Thursday.

Mitchell agreed to terms with Chicago in April to forgo his senior season at the University of Denver and turn pro, but the question remained whether he’d sign for the 2019-20 or 2020-21 season. The defenseman opted for the latter and his contract will begin next season. Scott Powers of The Athletic first reported the news.

The window for Mitchell to make his decision opened at 11 a.m. Central time Monday (the third day after the Collective Bargaining Agreement went into effect) and ran through 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Mitchell, a second-round pick (No. 57) in the 2017 NHL Draft, led all Denver defensemen in goals (10), assists (22) and points (32) in 36 games during his junior season. The 21-year-old helped Canada win the Spengler Cup in December in Davos, Switzerland, scoring one goal and one assist in four games.

Mitchell’s contract can contain a signing bonus payable next season, as long as it’s dated to be paid after the opening of this offseason free agent signing period, which starts following the 2020 NHL Draft (scheduled for Oct. 9-10) and the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final.