May 11, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) The Blackhawks have rewarded Richard Panik for a breakout season by re-signing him to a two-year deal that runs through 2018-19.

The 26-year-old Panik set career highs with 22 goals, 22 assists and 44 points in his first full season in Chicago.

Panik showed he could play on the top line and scored 18 even-strength goals, fourth on the team, and general manager Stan Bowman applauded the Slovak forward's consistency throughout the season.

He had 19 goals and 20 assists in 151 NHL games with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs before being demoted to the American Hockey League and traded to Chicago. With the Blackhawks he has 28 goals and 24 assists in 112 games.

Bowman announced the contract Thursday.

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