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Report: Blackhawks pluck top prospect Wyatt Kalynuk from Flyers

The smooth skating blueliner has been described as “a young Nick Leddy.”

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According to a report from Chicago Blackhawks insider Mark Lazerus, the Blackhawks will sign former Philadelphia Flyers draft pick Wyatt Kalynuk to an entry-level deal contract.

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From Lazarus’ article for The Athletic:

… So add another name to the mix: the Blackhawks are signing defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk, a seventh-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2017, to an entry-level contract, according to two league sources. Kalynuk decided to forgo his senior season at Wisconsin, and the Flyers failed to sign him during their window of exclusivity, making him a free agent.
The swift-skating 6-foot-1, 189-pound Kalynuk — one college source said Kalynuk reminded him a bit of former Blackhawks speedster Nick Leddy — is another gifted offensive-minded defenseman in the organizational depth chart. He was a team captain and power-play quarterback at Wisconsin as a junior and posted seven goals and 21 assists in 36 games. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection. He had 25 points in each of his first two seasons with the Badgers.

“At this point, Wyatt thinks right now it’s better for him to turn pro, and I support that,” Wisconsin coach Tony Granato told the Wisconsin State Journal. “As much as we’d like to have him back here, part of college hockey and part of recruiting great players is the fact that you understand that, unfortunately, sometimes they are ready before their four years expire.”

The 23 year old native of Virden, Manitoba has captained Wiconsin State the past two seasons and honestly has nothing left to prove at the NCAA level. Look for Kalynuk to push hard for a permanent spot on the Blackhawks’ blue line whenever the 2020-21 NHL season begins. Failing that, he'll provide the Blackhawks with some AHL level depth, but given his age and physical maturity it wouldn't be a surprise to see the kid step into the Blackhawks' lineup without much of a blip. He'll be up against players like Lucas Carlsson, Nicolas Beaudin, Slater Koekkoek, Dennis Gilbert, Alec Regula and Nick Seeler to crack the Blackhawks' roster. Should the Blackhawks' buy out Olli Maata's contract, there'll be even less competition for Kalynuk.