According to CapGeek.com, the Blackhawks have agreed in principle to a two-year, entry-level deal with 2006 second round pick Igor Makarov. The deal reportedly comes with a $552,500 cap number.
Makarov, 23, is listed at 6’1 and 185 pounds and possesses a great combination of speed, versatility and energy according to scouts. Most analysis indicates that he’s a smart forward with good puck-handling skills and plays a good two-way game while not being limited because of a slight size disadvantage.
The biggest reason Makarov hadn’t been a factor in most recent rankings of Blackhawks prospects is because most indications were that he was going to stay in Russia. By adding the young right wing with a small cap number, the Hawks have added another option with a great ceiling to the training camp roster for this fall. Most scouts have said he projects as a top-six forward, but questioned if he would play in North America. It appears now that he will this season.
Another implication of this deal is that, if the Hawks are truly counting pennies to get under the cap, Jack Skille may have seen his last days in the Blackhawks organization. The cap number for Makarov would indicate a substantial pay cut for the unproven Skille, and he may not be invited back at this point.