Blackhawks sign defenseman Jake McCabe to a four-year contract

McCabe's deal carries a $4 million cap hit annually
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(670 The Score) - The Chicago Blackhawks have signed defenseman Jake McCabe to a four-year contract, the team announced Wednesday on the first day of NHL Free Agency.

The 27-year-old defenseman had three points (one goal, two assists) in 13 games for the Buffalo Sabres last season. His season was cut short when he needed to have surgery to repair ACL, MCL and meniscus injuries in his right knee. His contract will run through the 2024-25 season and carries a $4 million cap hit annually.

McCabe was a former second round pick (44th overall) of the Sabres in the 2012 NHL Draft out of the University of Wisconsin. After signing his entry-level contract in 2014, McCabe earned a full-time spot on the Sabres roster in the 2015-16 season.

In 353 career games with the Sabres, McCabe was able to score 18 goals and add 59 assists for 77 points as a reliable two-way defenseman. His best statistical season at the NHL level came in the 2016-17 season, where he registered 20 points (3+17) in 76 games in Buffalo.

McCabe also became an integral leader of the Sabres locker room in his time in Buffalo, serving as an alternate captain the last two seasons.