The Chicago Blackhawks have made another massive trade on Friday before the NHL Draft, sending Artemi Panarin to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Brandon Saad.
Panarin scored 61 goals and dished out 90 assists in two seasons with the Blackhawks. The winger signed a two-year contract extension with the Blackhawks earlier this year, but his $6 million annual salary will head to Columbus as part of the deal.
"We thank Artemi for the immediate impact he made on our lineup during his seamless transition to the NHL," Blackhawks G.M. Stan Bowman said. "His rookie year will always rank among the best in franchise history and his exciting style of play provided many memorable moments for our fans during his two seasons as a member of the team."
The Blackhawks traded Saad to the Blue Jackets in 2015 after they won their third Stanley Cup in six seasons. Saad signed a six-year deal worth $36 million with the Jackets, and he still has four years left on that deal as he returns to Chicago after winning two championships with the team.
Saad scored 24 goals and picked up 29 assists for the Blue Jackets last year as they racked up one of the best records in the NHL.
The Blackhawks will also get goaltender Anton Forsberg and a fifth round pick in the 2018 draft in the swap. The Blue Jackets will also receive forward Tyler Motte and a 2017 sixth-round pick.
We'll have more details as they come in on this breaking story.