The Chicago Blackhawks have signed first-round pick Nolan Allan to his three-year, entry-level contract. The deal will come with a cap hit of $870K. Allan was the very last player off the board in the first round this year, selected with the Tampa Bay Lightning pick that Chicago received in the Seth Jones trade.
Allan, 18, is a very interesting pick for the simple reason that he has basically shown no offensive upside to this point. The 6-foot-2 defenseman has just 11 points in his 81 WHL games to this point and is known almost entirely for his contributions in his own end. That’s why it was a surprise to some when the Blackhawks picked him at the end of the first round, but there’s certainly a lot to like about his defensive game.
He very well may cap out at a third-pairing defenseman in the NHL and some will critique the Blackhawks for not shooting higher with their selection, but the team obviously believes he can be a valuable piece of the puzzle. That certainly won’t be this season, but Allan will be taking part in the team’s rookie tournament that starts later this week. In all likelihood, he’ll go back to the WHL for another season to continue his development, which will also allow his contract to slide forward a year, not burning the first season of the entry-level deal.Internet Explorer Channel Network