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Blackhawks D Hjalmarsson agrees to extension

The SportsXchange

The Chicago Blackhawks reached agreement with defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson on a five-year contract extension, the team announced.

ESPN reported that the deal, which extends through the 2018-19 season, is worth $20.5 million. Hjalmarsson still has one season remaining at $3.5 million on his current contract.

The 26-year-olde Swede averaged more than 20 minutes per game in each of his past two seasons. He had 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 46 regular-season games in 2012-13 and five assists during the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup run this spring.

A former fourth-round draft pick, Hjalmarsson has 56 points in 306 career regular-season games and 17 points in the postseason.

In addition to Hjalmarsson, the Blackhawks have five other players signed at least through the 2016-17 season, including forwards Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Bryan Bickell, defenseman Duncan Keith and goaltender Corey Crawford.

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