Forward Patrick Kane took another step towards opening the 2007-08 NHL season with Chicago, agreeing to a three-year, entry level contract with the Blackhawks Wednesday.
Kane, the top overall pick at the entry draft in June, will be paid a base salary of $875,000 US— the maximum for rookies — and could earn up to $850,000 in 'A' bonuses and $2 million in 'B' bonuses for a total of $3.725 million annually.
"Patrick is a dynamic and exciting young player," Hawks general manager Dale Tallon said in a statement. "We're pleased that he will begin a long and productive career with the Blackhawks when we open camp on Sept. 13."
Kane, 18, led the Canadian Hockey League with 145 points (62-83) in 58 games last with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
"Patrick will get every opportunity to earn a spot on the opening night roster," Tallon said.
Scouts rave about Kane's intelligence and viewed him as the most skilled player available in the draft. At five-foot-nine and 160 pounds, size appears to be the only concern.
The native of Buffalo, N.Y., was OHL rookie of the year in 2006-07 as well as a first-team all-star.
He also had five goals and nine points in nine games as the United States took home bronze at the 2007 world junior championship in Sweden.