Wyatt Kalynuk signed an entry-level deal with the Chicago Blackhawks today, according to Blackhawks reporter Mark Lazerus.
The Blackhawks WILL be signing Wisconsin defenseman (and former Flyers draft pick) Wyatt Kalynuk to an entry-level deal, per two league sources. One college source said the swift-skating Kalynuk reminded him “a bit of Nick Leddy.”
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) July 6, 2020
Chicago Blackhawks Sign Wyatt Kalynuk
Wyatt Kalynuk is a 23-year-old defenceman who played his last three seasons with the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA. He is a consistent player. He scored 25 points during his first two seasons with the Badgers and scored 28 points last season. Kalynuk is a 6′-1′, 189-pound smooth-skating offensive defenceman who quarterbacked Wisconsin’s power play this year. He was also the Badgers’ captain. In Lazerus’s article, a college source said Kalynuk reminds him of Nick Leddy.
He was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers 196th overall the 2017 draft. Kalynuk decided not to play his senior season at Wisconsin and jump to professional hockey. The Flyers failed to sign him and Kalynuk became a free agent last month according to an NBC article, therefore, allowing him to sign with Chicago.
This is what Wisconsin’s head coach, Tony Granato, had to say about Kalynuk in another NBC article. “He’s got a special offensive ability that other defensemen don’t have,” said Granato. “He’s confident, his skating ability allows him to be able to have opportunities offensively that other players won’t have and he can beat the first forechecker.”
Here is a highlight video of the Flyers’ top prospects. Kalynuk’s highlights start at 11:07.
What this means for the future
Any player who wasn’t signed before the NHL stoppage is not eligible to play during the rest of this season. That means Chicago can’t dress Wyatt Kalynuk in any play-in or playoff games. The Blackhawks have many defencemen, so Kalynuk will more than likely start his pro career in the AHL. He will have to impress to get NHL time because he’ll be competing with other young defencemen like Adam Boqvist, Lucas Carlsson, Ian Mitchell, and Nicholas Beaudin.
It is disappointing for the Flyers that they lost a young defenceman, but they are in a good position to take the hit. They have two good young prospects in 2019 first-round pick Cam York and big 6′-4′ defenceman Yegor Zamula, who scored 28 points in 28 games for the Calgary Hitmen in the Western Hockey League this year. Not to mention Philadelphia has many young NHL defensemen like Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Philippe Myers, and Robert Hagg.
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