The Chicago Blackhawks locked in another important piece of their roster puzzle when they agreed to terms with center Marcus Kruger on a two-year contract Friday.

The restricted free agent had four goals and nine assists in 47 regular-season games and added three goals and two assists in the Hawks' 23-game run to the Stanley Cup championship. The 23-year-old Kruger also played a big role on the Hawks' penalty-killing unit, which was among the best in the NHL all season. He led team forwards and ranked second overall with an average of 2 mimutes, 30 seconds of short-handed ice time per game.

"Marcus had a great season for us," Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said Friday. "When we brought him over (from Europe) we kind of expected this role for him and looking at his progression over the last two seasons ... I'm not surprised that he's done that. This is really what we liked when we drafted him. We looked back and he's a very tenacious player, I think he's very smart. He's gained some strength over the last couple of years, which has allowed him to play against better players and stronger players and his ability to help us in a lot of different ways. He played some wing for us in the playoffs and a lot of center during the regular season. He's a big part of the penalty killing and that's sort of his profile going forward--a versatile defender ... and he's worked on his offensive game a little bit. Looking into next year, I think his role's only going to get bigger."

The Stockholm, Sweden, native has 13 goals ans 26 assists in 125 career games with the Hawks from 2010 to 2013. He has three goals and three assists in 34 career playoff contests. Kruger was originally selected by the Hawks in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.