Blackhawks sign forward Richard Panik to a two-year deal

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 17: Richard Panik #14 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the Nashville Predators in Game Three of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on April 17, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/NHL/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – After the most productive season of his career, the Blackhawks have rewarded Richard Panik with a bit of security with the franchise.

On Thursday the team announced that they’ve reached an agreement on a new two-year deal with the forward that runs through the 2018-2019 season.

“Richard made tremendous strides this past year and we were pleased with the consistency he showed throughout the season,” said Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman in a statement through the team. “We are looking forward to having him in Chicago for the next two seasons.”

Acquired in a trade with the Maple Leafs in the middle of the 2015-2016 season, Panik was one of the surprises for the Blackhawks this past season. He scored the first goal for the team in the 2016-2017 on opening night against the Blues and was off and running after that.

Panik scored six goals in the first month of the season – his entire total in 30 games with the Blackhawks – and ended up with a career-high 22 goals and assists in 82 games .