On Thursday morning, the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers made ANOTHER trade prior to the upcoming April 12th trade deadline. After exchanging Brad Morrison for Vinnie Hinostroza earlier this week, the Blackhawks have acquired Brett Connolly, Riley Stillman, Henrik Borgström and a 2021 seventh-round pick in exchange for Lucas Wallmark and Lucas Carlsson going to the Panthers.
Brett Connolly, Riley Stillman and Henrik Borgstrom plus a 7th Rd pick in exchange for Lucas Carlsson and Lucas Wallmark.
Connolly has 2 more yrs at $3.5M AAV. Florida freeing up cap space as part of this. Hawks using their cap space to net 2 young players
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 8, 2021
Brett Connolly, once a 20+ goal-scorer with the Capitals during the 2018-19 season, has just two goals and four points in 21 games with the Panthers this season. The 28-year-old has two years remaining on his current deal at $3.5M AAV.
Riley Stillman has skated in eight NHL games and five AHL games this season in the Panthers organization. He’s 23-years old and a restricted free agent this summer.
Henrik Borgström is a former 2016 first-round pick by the Panthers. He has 19 points in 58 career NHL games with the Panthers and 45 points in 73 AHL games. He has been playing with HIFK in the Finnish Liiga this season, where he has 11 goals and 19 points in 27 games.
"We are receiving a very exciting, young player with a bright future in Henrik Borgstrom. He is a high-end talent and we think he has the ability to be a big time player for us."
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) April 8, 2021
Here’s a fun fact: Riley Stillman and MacKenzie Entwistle were teammates on the 2018 OHL Champion Hamilton Bulldogs and Henrik Borgström and Ian Mitchell were teammates at the University of Denver. How about that?
Prior to the trade, Florida will first assign Stillman and Connolly to the Taxi Squad. This will result in both players being assigned to Chicago’s Taxi Squad when the trade is completed, where both players can do their quarantining and not hit the salary cap until they’re ready to join the active roster. With the deal, Florida sends a $4.27M annual Cap hit to Chicago, which is a $1.14M Cap hit this year.
The Hawks only acquired the rights to Henrik Borgström. He’ll need a new contract.
It seems like that’ll come this summer rather than now. Borgström is playing in Finland currently and agent tells me he doesn’t expect to play in North America this year.
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) April 8, 2021
This is a win for the Blackhawks, giving up two players who had no room in the lineup in exchange for taking on a bad deal they can expose in this summer’s expansion draft in Connolly, and two young “maybes” in Stillman and Borgström. With Chicago’s need for young talent at center, I’m very intrigued to see what, if anything, can become of a former first-round pick with size (6’3”, 200 pounds) like Borgström.