PROGRAMMING NOTE: BLACKHAWKS GAME PREEMPTS WGN NEWS AT NINE

Blackhawks agree to a contract extension with Artemi Panarin: Reports

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Artemi Panarin #72 of the Chicago Blackhawks reacts after scoring an empty-net goal against the Winnipeg Jets in the third period of the NHL game at the United Center on December 6, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – A major part of the future of the Chicago Blackhawks appears to have been put in place for a little while on Wednesday afternoon.

According to a report from TheAthletic.com, the Blackhawks have come to a contract extension with forward Artemi Panarin. Reporter Scott Powers tweeted the news around 4 PM on Wednesday afternoon.

The Blackhawks have yet to confirm the move.

Panarin is in his second season with the Blackhawks and has established himself as one of the best young stars in the game. After spending 2008-2015 in the KHL in Russia, the forward scored 30 goals and had 47 assists in his first year in Chicago, winner the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

So far Panarin has picked up where he left off during the 2016-2017 season, scoring 15 goals while dishing out 22 assists in the first 37 games of the season.