With the college season now finished, we have seen an uptick in NCAA signings over the past few days. Don’t expect Blackhawks prospect Evan Barratt to be among those just yet. The winger told Scott Powers of The Athletic (subscription required) that he has yet to have any conversations with Chicago GM Stan Bowman about whether or not to turn pro next season. The 2017 third-round pick (90th overall) is coming off a quieter year offensively, picking up 34 points in as many games after collecting 43 in 32 contests a year ago. Nonetheless, he is one of Chicago’s better prospects and it’s likely that they will want to get a deal done to turn him pro for 2020-21. But with no talks yet, it may be a little while yet before it happens.
More from Chicago:
- The likelihood of a flattened salary cap due to the COVID-19 pandemic could wreak some havoc on Chicago’s plans. As Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times suggests, the Blackhawks may have to turn to the buyout market this summer to free up room to re-sign players like Corey Crawford, Dylan Strome, and Dominik Kubalik plus fill out the rest of their roster as they have more than $73MM in commitments to 17 players already for next season. Veteran forward Zack Smith, if healthy by the offseason, would be a logical candidate given his role while Pope suggests blueliner Olli Maatta could also make some sense considering his buyout rate would only be one-third which would yield a lot of savings on the cap.
- Another Blackhawks college prospect with a decision to make is defenseman Ian Mitchell. He told Mike Chambers of the Denver Post that he’s likely to forego his senior year and turn pro next season but nothing is finalized yet. The 2017 second-rounder (57th overall) had a career best ten goals in 36 games with the University of Denver this season while also participating in Canada’s entry in the Spengler Cup. He’s a player that could push for an NHL roster spot quite quickly and will carry a low price tag on an entry-level deal which would only boost his chances further considering their cap situation.