The Blackhawks have their first move from Saturday's open free agency period, signing former Seattle Kraken forward Ryan Donato to a two-year, $4 million contract ($2 million AAV).
Donato, who turned 27 in April, is a 6-foot, 190-pound forward who spent the last two seasons with the Seattle Kraken after joining that team in free agency in 2021. He had 27 points (14 G, 13 A) in 71 games for Seattle last season with an average ice time of 11:15. Donato's ice time went down to 9:05 in 14 playoff games, with only a pair of assists on the docket from the postseason. He was originally a second-round pick (56th overall) of the Boston Bruins in the 2014 NHL Draft and has played 325 regular-season games across six seasons with four NHL teams.
Not much special teams time to report on Donato, who skated just over 799 minutes last season, including 39:18 on the power play and only 3:49 shorthanded. The initial reactions suggest that Donato is slated for a middle-six role in Chicago, based on this report from Scott Powers of The Athletic: