The Chicago Blackhawks are a team that’s looking to the future, and they made a series of trades in the final 10 days before the NHL Trade Deadline with that in mind, acquiring prospects and draft picks while sending out several veteran players.
Gone are forwards Lucas Wallmark, Matthew Highmore, Mattias Janmark and Carl Soderberg. Defenseman Lucas Carlsson was also shipped out as part of the trades, with six total transactions taking place over the last 10 days.
Two of those trades were made with the Florida Panthers, including the biggest one of the bunch as the Blackhawks acquired Bret Connolly, Riley Stillman and the rights to Henrik Borgstrom in an April 8 swap.
The Blackhawks made four more trades on Monday, beating the deadline in acquiring forward Adam Gaudette from the Vancouver Canucks. The club also acquired three draft picks in a series of trades, including a second round pick from the Vegas Golden Knights.
Here is the full breakdown of what the Blackhawks did prior to the trade deadline.
Trade With Panthers (April 2)
Blackhawks Get: Vinnie Hinostroza
Panthers Get: Brad Morrison
The Blackhawks got their trade deadline work off to an early start, acquiring Hinostroza in an effort to get more speed in their bottom six forward group.
Hinostroza, who hadn’t had a point with the Panthers in nine games this season, registered an assist in each of his first two games with the Blackhawks after the trade.
Morrison appeared in 10 games between the ECHL’s Indy Fuel and the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, with 10 total games this season. The forward registered four goals and three assists in those contests. The Blackhawks had acquired Morrison in the trade that sent Olli Maatta to the Los Angeles Kings.
Trade With Panthers Vol. 2 (April 8)
Blackhawks Get: Henrik Borgstrom, Brett Connolly, Riley Stillman, 2021 7th Round Pick
Panthers Get: Lucas Carlsson, Lucas Wallmark
The Blackhawks had plenty of extra salary cap space to make deals at the deadline, and they used some of it to add a few pieces for the future, with Brett Connolly carrying a $2.425 million cap hit through the 2022-23 season.
In 21 games this season, Connolly had two goals and two assists with the Panthers. He has 100 career NHL goals in 517 games.
Stillman, a defenseman, has three assists in five games with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch this season, and has zero points in eight games with the Panthers. He has five assists in 43 career NHL games. He will be a restricted free agent at season’s end.
The big piece in the trade for the Blackhawks comes in the form of signing rights to Borgstrom, who is currently playing in Finland. A first round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, Borgstrom plans to come back to North America next season, and he’ll hope to be a legitimate scoring threat for the Blackhawks, as he’s scored 11 goals and dished out eight assists for HIFK Helsinki in the SM-liiga this season.
The Panthers got a couple of intriguing pieces from the Blackhawks, neither of whom could seemingly crack the team’s lineup with any regularity this season. Carlsson had one assists in 12 games with the Blackhawks, and had a goal and two assists in seven games with the IceHogs.
Wallmark, who had been on the team’s COVID-19 list earlier this season, bounced back and forth between the NHL roster and the taxi squad this season, with three assists in 16 games.
Trade With Canucks (April 12)
Blackhawks Get: Adam Gaudette
Canucks Get: Matthew Highmore
Gaudette, a fifth-round pick of the Canucks in the 2015 NHL Draft, had four goals and three assists this season with Vancouver. The Blackhawks will hope for him to provide some bottom-six firepower, and his quick shot could be a big asset on the team’s power play.
Gaudette was the Hobey Baker Award winner as the country’s best college player for Northeastern University.
Highmore had several chances to nail down a permanent spot in the team’s bottom six, but often found himself a health scratch this season, with just two assists to his credit. He has four goals and six assists in 73 games, and will likely find himself as the 11th or 12th forward on Vancouver’s roster after the swap.
Trade With Golden Knights and Sharks (April 12)
Blackhawks Get: 2021 2nd Round Pick (from Vegas), 2022 3rd Round Pick (from Vegas)
Golden Knights Get: Mattias Janmark, Nick DeSimone (from San Jose), 2022 5th Round Pick (from Chicago)
Sharks Get: 2022 5th Round Pick (from Vegas via Buffalo)
The Blackhawks picked up a pair of Top 100 draft picks in exchange for Janmark, which they’ll happily take for a player that was signed to a one-year deal earlier this season.
Janmark got off to a hot start for the Blackhawks, but had recently cooled off, with 10 goals and nine assists to his credit in 41 games this season.
The Blackhawks will also retain half of Janmark’s remaining salary in the deal, and the Sharks will take on half of Janmark’s contract in the deal as well, according to CapFriendly.
DeSimone spent this season with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda, with five assists in 14 games so far this season.
Trade With Avalanche (April 12)
Blackhawks Get: Josh Dickinson, Ryder Rolston
Avalanche Get: Carl Soderberg
The Blackhawks made another move before the Monday trade deadline, shipping veteran forward Soderberg to the Avalanche for a pair of prospects.
Dickinson has appeared in 15 games this season for the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies and the AHL’s Colorado Eagles, with a goal and four assists to his credit.
Rolston, a fifth round pick of the Avalanche in last season’s NHL Draft, is the son of former NHL’er Brian Rolston. He was also a teammate of Blackhawks prospect Landon Slaggert at Notre Dame this season, with a goal and five assists to his credit in his first collegiate season.
Trade With Canucks Vol. 2 (April 12)
Blackhawks Get: 2021 4th Round Pick
Canucks Get: Madison Bowey, 2021 5th Round Pick
The Blackhawks had signed Bowey to a two-year deal to acquire another defenseman who could be made available for this summer’s NHL Expansion Draft, but instead he’ll head to Vancouver in the teams’ second swap of the day.
Bowey appeared in two games with the Blackhawks this season, notching an assist.
The Blackhawks have now acquired picks in the second, fourth and seventh rounds in this year’s draft, and also acquired a third-round pick in next year’s draft.