Another college hockey prospect is on his way to the Chicago Blackhawks after Wyatt Kaiser signed his entry-level deal, per a team announcement on Tuesday afternoon.
The team announcement also indicated that Kaiser will be reporting to the Blackhawks.
Welcome Wyatt ‼️ pic.twitter.com/WY1kYWCUjz— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 14, 2023
It’s a three-year deal for Kaiser, with the specifics detailed in this tweet from the excellent CapFriendly page:
Wyatt Kaiser #Blackhawks— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) March 14, 2023
$917k x 3 year entry-level beginning 22-23
Yr 1: $807.5k + $92.5K signing bonus
Yr 2: $832.5k + $92.5k SB + $425k Type 'A' P.bonus
Yr 3: $832.5k + $92.5k SB + $425k Type 'A' P.bonushttps://t.co/jDGXbHlhLg
Kaiser, who’ll turn 21 at the end of July, was a third-round pick of the Blackhawks (81st overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft. The left-handed blue-liner stands 6-feet tall and weights 172 pounds and just completed his junior season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In 35 games this season, he fourth on the Bulldogs with 23 points and second with 18 assists — although his goal, assist and point totals from the 2022-23 seasons were all career-highs.
Our Top 25 Under 25 ranking from last summer had Kaiser cracking the top 10 for the first time, slotting in at No. 8 after a strong sophomore season that built on Kaiser’s success as a freshman when he skated the minute of a No. 1 defenseman at UMD. He’s done nothing to diminish his stock since then, continuing to receive the bulk of the ice time for the Bulldogs while displaying the smooth skating and strong transition game that registered him on NHL radars in the first place. He was the subject of this lengthy profile by The Athletic one month ago.
For an idea of Kaiser’s skating ability, check out this goal from last weekend:
Slick goal by Wyatt Kaiser#Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/EH8iqLr3pR— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) March 12, 2023
Here’s an assist Kaiser tallied (with fellow prospect Dominic James also involved in the play) during his final game for UMD:
Wyatt Kaiser and Dominic James with assists on Minn-Duluth’s only goal of the night as they fall 3-1 to St. Cloud State— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) March 13, 2023
Tick-tock. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/h64e0rvjKI
As just about every other Blackhawks-related account on Twitter has since pointed out, the three years on Kaiser’s deal begin immediately, so that first year is burned whether he plays in Chicago or not in the final month of the 2022-23 season.
The 1st year of Kaiser's deal will be completed in this current season, regardless of how many games he plays.https://t.co/TnDsOvyq14— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) March 14, 2023
If nothing else, it’ll be something else to watch as the Blackhawks inch closer to this season’s finish line.