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Sparty’s Over as Artyom Levshunov Signs Entry-Level Deal With Blackhawks



Artyom Levshunov gave it the old college try at Michigan State. Now it’s time for him to give it a shot with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks second overall pick signed his entry-level deal with the Blackhawks, marking the beginning of his professional career and one that will allow Chicago to have a significant say in the development process. The deal runs through the 2026-27 season.

From general manager Kyle Davidson, to director of amateur scouting Mike Doneghey, both couldn’t put enough words together to describe just how good Levshunov is already–and can be.

“I just think [he’s] the total package,” Davidson said after drafting him last Thursday in Las Vegas. “Offensively, he can drive offense, he can skate, he’s super mobile, he’s got good size, he’s aggressive, he’s a physical defender and we just think there’s more upside to come and so just the package as well as the potential growth left to come is. It was just so intriguing and something we really felt that would just make us a much better organization.”

Intriguing enough to sign him barely a week after he was taken with the second pick.

Artyom Levshunov Will Benefit From Free Agent Splash, Too

Who knows how Levshunov plays when he’s with NHL caliber players in camp this September. Maybe he pushes the needle enough to force a few games with the big club to kick off the season. But conventional wisdom likely has him starting in Rockford–the smart move–where he can hone his game and go at a speed that is far beneficial for him–and the organization.

Assistant General Manager and Director of Development Mark Eaton all but hinted at the advantage of having hm in the Blackhawks fold this fall.

“That part of it, obviously being able to be hands on every single day, is a huge bonus,” Eaton told the media at development camp Wednesday.  “That is the line that we walk with our amateur prospects, is the realization that they all play for other coaches. they all play in different systems, so if we have the ability to have him in house and our great staff in rockford, our development staff working with him on a daily basis, to start to close that gap between where he is and where he needs to go, I think it’s only a bonus.”

Levshunov also will have the benefit with working in Rockford with head coach Anders Sorensen and his staff, who Davidson couldn’t compliment enough on the work they’ve done for prospects both needing a reboot–and a permanent stay.

“I don’t know if we’ve had a player that’s gone down and come back up that hasn’t gotten better in Rockford,” Davidson said.  “So we’ve got a ton of trust in Anders and his staff and development staff working in Rockford to make sure players go down there, they’re going to be better and all the evidence has shown they do get better in Rockford.”

That’s just for them coming back. Imagine a full season where they can tutor Levshunov, pairing him with the future of the blue line in Chicago. The work to get Wyatt Kaiser back after a shaky start was one thing. But developing Ethan Del Mastro and Nolan Allan gives the Blackhawks an unbelievable stable of reliable defensemen.

Now, it’ll be Levshunov and the future, as if it wasn’t already, is even brighter after Artyom Levshunov signing his entry-level deal.

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