Earlier today, the Blackhawks announced they signed a defenseman who projects to be a part of their future defensemen core. Chad Krys signed his name on the dotted line and is now the proud new owner of a 3-year entry level NHL contract.

Chad Krys will report to the Rockford IceHogs and may be in the lineup as soon as this week, so make sure to keep an eye out!

Who Is Chad Krys?

Chad Krys was drafted in the 2nd round (45th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. Krys was originally projected to be a 1st round pick, but ended up falling a bit due to a poor showing in the U-18 IIHF World Junior Championships. The fact that he was once graded as a 1st round talent, so the upside and potential are there. It’s just a matter of tapping into it and putting it together.

Krys is a gifted young defenseman who specializes in the art of puck moving. The NHL has been trending towards this style of defenseman over the past couple of seasons. In the modern NHL, it’s all about offense, so his skillset should translate fairly well. As we take a closer look at Chad Krys’ career numbers, his potential becomes a little more apparent.

This season, Chad Krys has 20 points (8G, 12A) in 30 games with Boston University (NCAA). However, with those 20 points, also comes a -10 ± rating. The negative ± is kind of concerning, but it’s not necessarily a deal breaker — look at the impact Erik Gustafsson has had this season. If Krys can improve defensively, then I believe the Blackhawks have a Top 4 caliber defenseman on their hands.

Speaking of Erik Gustafsson, that is a fair NHL comp for Chad Krys. They share a lot of the same characteristics such as elite skating, premier playmaking abilities, great hands, and good vision. You can see all of these traits and more in this highlight reel.

When Can We Expect to See Chad Krys In a Blackhawks Sweater?

Not this season — he still needs to hone his craft a bit and improve defensively. The earliest I can see Krys suiting up is towards the end of next season, or maybe, even after that. While I don’t see him starting next season in the NHL, Krys will come in this offseason and compete during training camp alongside other upcoming studs: Henri Jokiharju, Adam Boqvist, Nicolas Beaudin, Ian Mitchell, and etc. That’s a hell of a future defensemen core right there, especially when you throw in Connor Murphy and Erik Gustafsson.

Getting Chad Krys under contract was just the first domino to fall in the Blackhawks’ youth movement. The Blackhawks will continue to sign other prospects to entry-level contracts in the upcoming weeks. Ian Mitchell (D), Evan Barratt (C), and Philipp Kurashev (C) will likely be the next ones up to receive ELCs. We could see a much-improved defense as soon as next season. With the strides they have made this year, I expect to see Henri Jokiharju and Adam Boqvist in a Blackhawks sweater next season.

Although there are still 7 games left to play this season, and a playoff push on our hands, I’m looking forward to a very promising future because of players like Chad Krys.

Welcome to Chicago, Chad!

For more Blackhawks news and updates, follow the author @Certified_TonyG on Twitter.