Before the NHL Entry Draft Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks made a massive splash as they traded defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes.
Hjalmarsson, a member of three Stanley Cup championship teams with the Blackhawks, scored 23 goals and dished out 120 assists as a member of the team, and his shot-blocking prowess and hard-nosed attitude endeared him to teammates and fans alike.
“Niklas’ contributions to the three Stanley Cup championship teams are well known but his dependability as a teammate, selfless attitude and the way he represented the Chicago Blackhawks on and off the ice are what made him such a beloved member of the organization,” Chicago Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman said in a statment. “He made his debut in Chicago in 2008 and quietly established himself as one of the toughest competitors in franchise history. We wish he and his family continued success.”
In exchange, the Blackhawks received defenseman Connor Murphy and center Laurent Dauphin.
Murphy, a 20th overall pick of the Coyotes in the 2011 draft, played 258 games in Arizona, scoring 13 goals and notching 36 assists. As a right-handed defenseman, Murphy adds more balance to the Blackhawks' attack, and also gives the team a bit of an offensive boost on the back end.
Dauphin, a 22-year-old center, scored 17 goals and had 11 assists for the AHL's Tucson Roadrunners last season. He has appeared in 32 career NHL games, scoring three goals for the Coyotes in his brief career.
Check back for details on this developing story.