The Chicago Blackhawks have made a massive splash just before the NHL Draft on Friday, acquiring defenseman Seth Jones in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The news was first reported by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan just over an hour before the first round of the draft got underway:
Several other reporters confirmed the news, including Mark Lazerus of The Athletic and Chris Johnston of Hockey Night in Canada.
After plenty of back-and-forth on the exact parameters of the deal, the Blackhawks made the swap official, announcing that they had acquired Jones, along with the 32nd overall pick in Friday's NHL Draft and a sixth round pick in next year's draft.
The Blue Jackets will receive defenseman Adam Boqvist as part of the deal, along with Chicago's first (12th overall) and second (44th overall) round selections in this year's draft. The Jackets will also receive a conditional 2022 first round pick in the deal, according to the Blackhawks.
To cap off the deal, the Blackhawks will reportedly give Jones an eight-year contract extension worth $9.5 million per season, which will kick in after the 2021-22 campaign.
Jones appeared in 56 games for the Blue Jackets last season, with five goals and 23 assists to his credit. He is preparing to enter the final year of his contract, but had reportedly informed the Blue Jackets that he was not interested in re-signing with the team.
Earlier this month, the Blackhawks made a move that seemed to hint that they were interested in the talented blue liner, acquiring his brother Caleb Jones in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers that sent Duncan Keith to Alberta. The Blackhawks then protected Jones in the expansion draft earlier this week.
We will have more on this trade as it develops.