Blackhawks sign top draft pick Levshunov to three-year contract

The Blackhawks on Saturday announced they have agreed to terms with defenseman Artyom Levshunov on a three-year, entry-level contract that runs through the 2026-27 season ($975,000 salary cap hit).

The Blackhawks selected Levshunov with the second overall pick in the 2024 NHL draft.

“Signing Artyom gives us the opportunity to continue his development in house and take the next step into professional hockey,” said General Manager Kyle Davidson. “He’s a strong two-way defenseman that has all the tools to be a high-end player in the NHL and we’re excited to continue his growth at the pro level.”

Levshunov, 18, recorded 35 points in 38 games with Michigan State University (NCAA) during the 2023-24 campaign, helping the Spartans to both Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships. His 26 assists and 35 points each ranked second on the club.

Among all NCAA blueliners, he shared ninth in points, which was second among all freshmen defensemen, and shared 10th in goals and 12th in assists. Levshunov also earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors. Additionally, he was named to the Big Ten First All-Star Team and the ACHA Second All-America Team.

Prior to his collegiate career, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound defensemen appeared in 62 regular-season games with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers during the 2022-23 season, recording 42 points, and earning both USHL All-Rookie Team and USHL Third All-Star Team honors.

His 13 goals ranked third among all USHL defensemen, while his 42 points ranked fifth. Additionally, Levshunov helped Belarus to a gold medal at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship Division 1 tournament, posting two assists in five games.

The Zhlobin, Belarus, native is the highest-selected Belarusian in NHL Draft history.

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