Blackhawks sign Paul Ludwinski to entry-level contract

The 2022 second-rounder was in the OHL this season.

The Chicago Blackhawks added another prospect to the organization on Saturday morning, signing 2022 second-round pick (39th overall) Paul Ludwinski to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The contract carries an annual salary cap hit of $931,667.

Ludwinski, who’ll turn 19 in April, played with the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs this season, racking up 34 points (9 G, 25 A) in 47 games. He’s been in and out of the lineup since the calendar turned to 2023, though, as mentioned in our last CHL prospect update. Has last game was on March 3 after missing games in February. Ludwinski was also a late arrival to Kingston after suffering a concussion while attending training camp with the Blackhawks last September.

Although certainly not the biggest hockey player in the world at 5-foot-11 and 187 pounds, Ludwinski told reporters at last year’s draft that he makes up for it with relentless effort:

No word yet on where Ludwinski will report after being signed — or if he’ll be playing at all. However, per the terms of the agreement between the CHL and NHL, hockey players must turn 20 years old by Dec. 31 of a season or have four played four junior seasons to be eligible for minor-league hockey. Since Ludwinski won’t hit the age requirement until next year and is in his third season of juniors, the assumption here would be that he returns to Kingston next season as well. Although, he could get a cup of coffee with the Blackhawks at some point, as long as he stays under the nine-game threshold that would burn a year of that contract.