Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Kevin Korchinski signed a three-year entry level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse/Seattle Thunderbirds

Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Kevin Korchinski signed a three-year entry level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse/Seattle Thunderbirds

Kent-based Thunderbirds’ Korchinski signs with Chicago Blackhawks

Three-year entry-level contract but will return to Western Hockey League for upcoming season

Defenseman Kevin Korchinski, of the Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds, signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The contract will run through the 2024-2025 season and cause a $950,000 salary cap hit, according to an Aug. 10 Blackhawks news release. Chicago took Korchinski with the seventh overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

“Signing Kevin is an exciting moment and another step in us building organizational depth,” said Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson. “We knew that we wanted Kevin to be a big part of this team’s future, so we’re happy to have him within our system, developing in this early part of his professional career. His confidence and positive attitude paired with his size will be assets as he continues to grow his game in the WHL (Western Hockey League) this upcoming season.”

Korchinski, 18, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan logged 65 points (4 goals, 61 assists) in 67 regular-season games for the T-Birds in the 2021-2022 season, plus another 19 points (6 goals, 13 assists) in 25 WHL playoff games. Seattle won the Western Conference title but fell in the WHL Final to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Korchinski was named to the U.S. Division Second All-Star Team.

The T-Birds took Korchinski with the 10th-overall pick in the 2019 WHL Draft.

In July, the Edmonton Oilers signed T-Birds forward Reid Schaefer to a three-year entry-level contract. The Oilers took Schaefer with the 32nd pick in the first round of the NHL Draft.

Schaefer had 32 goals and 58 points in 66 appearances this past season. The 6-foot-3, 214-pound winger also collected six goals and 21 points in 25 playoff games.

Korchinski and Schaefer are expected to help make the T-Birds one of the top teams in the WHL for the 2022-2023 season.




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