The Blackhawks have had a busy day. After acquiring Vinny Hinostroza from the Florida Panthers last week, the two teams completed another trade. This time Florida is saying goodbye and sending forward striker Brett Connolly to Chicago, along with forward Henrik Borgstrom and defender Riley Stillman. The Blackhawks also get the 7th pick. Pick and send defenseman Lukas Karlsson and forward Lukas Wallmark to the Panthers.

Full trade:

Brett Connolly, Riley Stillman and Henrik Borgstrom plus a seventh. Rd pick in exchange for Lukas Karlsson and Lukas Wallmark.

Connolly has two years left with a $3.5 million AAV. Florida thus creates space in the canopy. The Hawks use their space to contract 2 young players.

– Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 8, 2021

This deal is quite lucrative for the Blackhawks, as it allows them to use two young prospects in the salary cap. Thanks to the Long Term Injury Reserve (LTIR), the Blackhawks have over $20 million in playing time this season. Florida needed flexibility in coverage, and the Blackhawks delivered.

Blackhawks acquisitions

Brett Connolly is a 28-year-old winger and is in his second year with the Panthers on a four-year, $14 million contract through the 2019-20 season. Last season Connolly scored 19 goals and handed out 14 assists in 69 games for the Panthers, but he has gotten off to a slow start this year with two goals and two assists in 21 games. A change of scenery for Connolly and a needed start for the Panthers is an ideal situation for both parties.

Riley Stillman was selected by the Florida Panthers in the fourth round. Was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft. The 23-year-old defenseman played three seasons with the Panthers, splitting his time between the NHL and the AHL. He may need a little more time to mature in the minors, but he’s a very solid acquisition for the Blackhawks. The left defenseman has five points, all assists, in his NHL career. Stillman isn’t really an offensive threat, but he’s a good offensive player as a home run hitter.

Henrik Borgstrom is perhaps the most interesting deal, and he fits Stan Bowman’s penchant for former first-round picks. Borgstrom was the Panthers’ first round pick in 2016, 23rd overall. He’s a 6-foot-2 midfielder with huge potential. The young Finn broke through in the NCAA with the University of Denver, but has struggled to find a foothold with the Panthers.

During his struggles, Borgstrom decided to play in Europe this season and try to find his game. Other Florida prospects have struggled to develop in Florida, so Borgstrom is certainly not marginal. Maybe the change of scenery is best for the former first choice.

Borgstrom scored 18 points in 50 games with the Panthers in the 2018-19 season, but appeared in just eight games over two seasons, the rest of his 50-game season.

Panther acquisitions

Lukas Karlsson has played 18 games for the Blackhawks over the past two seasons. Karlsson appeared in 12 games for the Blackhawks this season, with one assist in that span. Karlsson was part of a solid defensive group, so a change of scenery and the chance to play more regularly should benefit the young Swede.

Lucas Wallmark has been contracted by the Blackhawks through the 2021 season. After starting the season with two assists in three games for Chicago, Wallmark was named to the COVID-19 team. When he returned, he had trouble finding time to play. It was exempt and exempt in the Hinostroz trade.

Wallmark played in seven games for Florida last season and scored two points. He was part of the NHL trade deadline that allowed Vincent Trocheck to come to Carolina. Prior to the trade, Wallmark had 11 goals and 12 assists in 60 games with the Hurricanes.

Overall, the exchange is mutually beneficial. Florida releases trade restrictions to maintain flexibility until Monday the 12th. April, and the Blackhawks are adding new prospects to rearrange their roster quickly.

What now?

The Blackhawks play against the Dallas Stars tonight at the United Center in Chicago. The shuffleboard release is scheduled for 7pm CDT. The Blackhawks then travel to Columbus, Ohio where the Blue Jackets play two games on Saturday and Monday.

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