Both extensions are for two years and will transition from two-way deals to one-way deals in 2021-22.
The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Thursday afternoon that they have agreed to terms with forward Matthew Highmore and goaltender Kevin Lankinen on contract extensions. Highmore’s extension carries a $725,000 AAV and transitions from a two-way deal in year one ($700,000 NHL/$450,000 AHL) to a one-way deal in year two ($750,000). Lankinen’s new deal has an AAV of $800,000 and also transitions from a two-way deal in year one ($750,000 NHL/$500,000 AHL) to a one-way deal in year two ($850,000).
Highmore, a 24-year-old forward, split time between the Blackhawks and the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL this season. In 36 NHL games, the undrafted left-hander tallied two goals, four assists, and a -1 plus/minus rating. In 21 games for the IceHogs, Highmore scored four goals and added eight assists for 12 points.
Highmore missed the majority of the 2018-19 season due to a shoulder injury, but the Halifax, Nova Scotia native was off to a strong start with 9 points (3G, 6A) in his first 12 games.
In his first professional season, Highmore posted an impressive 43 points (24G, 19A) in 64 games with the IceHogs. He spent the previous five seasons playing junior hockey with the Saint John Sea Dogs and won a QMJHL championship in 2016-17.
As for Lankinen, the 24-year-old Finnish netminder had an 8-10-2 record with a 3.03 goals-against average and .909 save percentage in Rockford this season. Lankinen was the IceHogs lone representative in the 2020 AHL All-Star Game.
Last season, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Lankinen played in his first North American professional season. The Helsinki, Finland native appeared in 19 games with the IceHogs and posted a 7-12-1 record with a 2.50 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. In six games with the Indy Fuel of the ECHL, Lankinen was 4-2-0 with a 3.18 goals-against average and .893 save percentage.
Lankinen shined last summer at the IIHF World Championship, where he led Finland to a gold medal behind a 7-1-0 record along with a ludicrous 1.50 goals-against average and .942 save percentage.
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