Kurashev signs two-year contract following arbitration

The young forward will have a few more seasons to prove his long-term worth in Chicago.

Kurashev signs two-year contract following arbitration

Following salary arbitration, the Blackhawks have a contract in place for the next two seasons with forward Philipp Kurashev, who had been a restricted free agent.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman was first to report and the Blackhawks have now confirmed that Kurashev has signed 2-year contract worth $4.5 million ($2.25 million AAV).

Factoring Kurashev's salary onto the team's books, Chicago remains about $13 million under the salary cap heading into next season, per the tweet below from CapFriendly:

Kurashev, who turns 24 in October, had just 25 points (9 G, 16 A) in 70 games last season with an average ice time of 17:25. The 2018 fourth-round pick (120th overall) has spent his entire career in Chicago, tallying 62 points (23 G, 39 A) in 191 games across three seasons. While Kurashev set career highs in goals, assists and points last season, that also came with a significant leap in ice time, as Kurashev averaged just 13:05 in his rookie season and 12:51 in '21-22.

It's seemed like Kurashev has been on the verge of a breakout for a few seasons now, but that big leap forward is yet to materialize – although the overall dreadful rosters of the Blackhawks teams that Kurashev has played with in the NHL certainly haven't helped matters. It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg argument: is Kurashev struggling because the teams aren't any good or are the teams not any good because players like Kurashev have struggled? That mystery was the subject of the deeper exploration in the article below:

Last season was Philipp Kurashev’s third in the NHL. Were there any signs of progress from it?
The former fourth-round pick is closing in on 200 career NHL games.

Still, Kurashev remains a younger player by NHL standards and could still prove to  be a long-term piece of this franchise's return to prominence. Now he has two seasons to prove that while his salary cap hit offers virtually no risk for the team.