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Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt Signs Entry-Level Contract With Chicago Blackhawks

One of Penn State hockey’s brightest stars is off to the National Hockey League.

Junior center Evan Barratt put pen to paper on his entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks — a decision that ends his college hockey career after three seasons in Hockey Valley. His three-year contract carries an average annual value of $870,000 should he play in the NHL.

Barratt signed his ELC with the Blackhawks after the organization made him the No. 90 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Only two other Nittany Lions — Eamon McAdam (No. 70 overall, 2013) and Max Gardiner (No. 74 overall, 2010) — have been drafted higher than the center.

Over the past two seasons, Barratt shined while playing on a line with classmate Alex Limoges and senior Liam Folkes, who signed a pro contract of his own last week. He finished his college hockey career with 95 points (39 goals, 56 assists) in 98 appearances for the Nittany Lions, including a career-high 43 points in just 32 appearances during his sophomore year.

Although he became one of college hockey’s best players over the past two seasons, Barratt’s time as a Nittany Lion didn’t get off to the best start. He was injured in his NCAA debut against Clarkson and struggled to find his rhythm while bouncing in and out of the lineup. Once he was a regular in the lineup, however, he blossomed in no small part thanks to his line combination with Limoges and Folkes.

The three players instantly developed chemistry, and all three of their skillsets complemented each other. Limoges’ puck skills and offensive presence, Barratt’s sky-high hockey IQ and grittiness, and Folkes’ straight-line speed and North-South style of play combined to create one of the most dynamic lines in college hockey.

The “BFL” line finished the 2018-19 season with a combined 131 points, including 42 (16 goals, 26 assists) from Barratt. The trio combined for a slightly less mind-blowing total of 34 goals and 57 assists in 2019-20.

Barratt was also a milestone man for the Nittany Lions. He became the first player in program history to play for the United States at the U-20 World Junior Championship. He scored a goal for his country as the Americans took home a silver medal from the event, which is widely considered the best amateur hockey tournament in the world.

Now that Barratt’s signing is official, four Penn Staters have signed pro contracts this offseason. In addition to two-thirds of the BFL line, Brandon Biro and Nate Sucese have joined the Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes’ organizations, respectively.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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