The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with forward Richard Panik (PA-nihk), which runs through the 2018-19 National Hockey League season.
"Richard made tremendous strides this past year and we were pleased with the consistency he showed throughout the season," said Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman. "We are looking forward to having him in Chicago for the next two seasons."
Panik posted career highs in goals (22), assists (22) and points (44) during the 2016-17 campaign. He was also one of three Blackhawks to appear in all 82 regular-season contests and he paced the club with 147 hits. His 22 tallies shared fourth on the team, including his first career hat trick on Oct. 15, 2016. He was one of six Chicago skaters to finish with at least 20 goals.
Originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, Panik has recorded 91 points (47G, 44A) in 263 regular-season NHL games across five seasons with Tampa Bay (2012-14), Toronto (2014-15) and Chicago (2015-17). The Martin, Slovakia, native has also appeared in 166 career AHL games with the Norfolk Admirals (2009-10, 2011-12), Syracuse Crunch (2012-14) and Toronto Marlies (2015-16), accumulating 53 goals and 66 assists. He helped Norfolk capture the 2012 Calder Cup Championship, adding six points (5G, 1A) in 18 games with the Admirals.
The 26-year-old appeared in four games with Team Slovakia at the 2014 Winter Olympics, in addition to representing Slovakia at the World Championships (2010, 2014, 2015). Panik was acquired by the Blackhawks in a trade with Toronto on Jan. 3, 2016.