Sam Lafferty Has Become One of the Blackhawks’ Most Valuable Trade Pieces

As we continue the long walk toward the NHL’s trade deadline, one name that has emerged as one of the more intriguing on the market is Blackhawks forward Sam Lafferty.

Lafferty, who turns 28 on March 6, has already established his career marks in goals (9), assists (11) and points (20). Those aren’t gaudy numbers, but he’s still generating a lot of interest. In fact, the Blackhawks have received enough calls on their bottom-six ace that he’s climbing the rankings of those who monitor the market.

Frank Seravalli at The Daily Faceoff updated his big board of trade candidates on Thursday and now has Lafferty at No. 12 — one spot behind Jonathan Toews. Here’s part of what he said about Lafferty on the market:

The interest Lafferty has generated has been significant for Chicago. Teams have said the asking price is believed to be a second-round pick now… his elite speed has turned heads – particularly on the penalty kill, where Lafferty has scored three shorthanded goals. That’s one off the league-lead, second only to Vegas’ Reilly Smith.

Speed for days sells in the NHL right now, and Lafferty has that. If general manager Kyle Davidson could turn a busted reclamation project (Alex Nylander) into a second-round pick that would truly be some sort of sorcery. And even though I love everything Lafferty brings to the table, that’s a tough return to deny.

Lafferty has one more year left on his contract that carries a $1.15 million cap hit. So the control a team would have at a low number is incredibly attractive with the cap likely only going up $1 million next year.

Of all the players Davidson has acquired since becoming the general manager last season, nobody has taken advantage of his opportunity as well as Lafferty. He’s winning 52.8 percent of his faceoffs this season, a great number for a team looking for someone who can help a penalty kill and also contribute offensively in a bottom-six role. When you add that he’s won 56.7 percent of his 180 defensive zone faceoffs, that is more impressive considering his role.

According to Natural Stat Trick, Lafferty leads the Blackhawks with six rush attempts at 5-on-5 play this season, and he is tied for fourth on the team with 14 even-strength points. I fact, he has only four fewer even-strength points than Patrick Kane in more than 200 fewer 5-on-5 minutes.

The number sucks because the Blackhawks aren’t good offensively, but Lafferty leads all regular Chicago forwards with 46 percent of the shots attempted while he’s on the ice at even strength. And the only Blackhawks forwards who average more 5-on-5 shots per 60 minutes than Lafferty (6.17) are Kane, Andreas Athanasiou and Philipp Kurashev.

Lafferty has also been credited with 84 hits, 22 takeaways and 18 blocked shots this season. He plays an aggressive, fast game that’s a pain in the ass to play against. And, when we look at how teams win championships, that’s precisely what they want — need — in their bottom six.

Another strong season could improve his value at the deadline next year if the Blackhawks are in a similar position. Lafferty’s additional year of control and the 2023 draft class having so much hype around its depth might mean getting the pick(s) this summer could prove enough additional value for both the Blackhawks and the team looking to acquire him that a deal happening now makes the most sense.

Which brings us back to the hard question: isn’t Lafferty the kind of player you want to build around? Davidson has to weigh the future value of the assets he might be able to bring back against what Lafferty could mean helping his NHL roster. If he can get the right value, moving Lafferty might be a strong move for the Hawks. But the way he’s played, keeping him is also a strong consideration as the Blackhawks work to transition from this season’s struggles into competitive hockey in the future.

written by

Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

more blackhawks news

Blackhawks 1, Flyers 3 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

The Blackhawks got off to a better start... for about six minutes. Unfortunately, a Travis Sanheim shot was perfectly redirected into the net off Alex Vlasic's stick to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. There wasn't much Arvid Söderblom could...

Blackhawks vs Flyers – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson played for John Tortorella for one season during his long career. Tonight, he'll coach against him as the Flyers visit the United Center for the only time this year. The Blackhawks come into the game...

Michael Jordan Attending Chris Chelios’ Jersey Retirement?!?

Wow. The list of reported past heroes coming home to celebrate Chris Chelios' jersey celebration on Sunday continues to grow -- and now it might have added the biggest name in the history of Chicago sports. Michael Jordan, the GOAT,...

Bedard vs. Torts, Foligno’s On-Ice Contributions, Injury/Roster Updates, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

The Blackhawks are (thankfully) back in Chicago for their next five games, beginning with the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. Remember: it's an early game on TNT. Connor Bedard is coming off a three-point effort in the loss in Carolina, giving him...

Jeremy Roenick, Ed Belfour Among Former Blackhawks Celebrating Chris Chelios This Weekend!

Oh my sweet heavens teenage me is screaming into the posters of the 1990s Blackhawks on my bedrooms walls right now. The Blackhawks announced the pregame panel that will discuss their part in the career of Chris Chelios on Sunday...

Blackhawks Prospect Updates: Rockford, Junior Players Producing Well

There have been more questions/comments recently about the state of the rebuild because of the Blackhawks' struggles at the NHL level. So let's take stock of the rebuild for a moment, shall we? Each week, we keep you up-to-date on...

The Bedard Bounce, Message to Reichel, Foligno’s Leadership, Megna’s Path, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Connor Bedard did what he could to bring the Blackhawks back in Carolina last night. One goal, two assists, won all four of his faceoffs, one hit, one takeaway and skated 20:17 in the loss. He now has two goals...

Blackhawks 3, Canes 6 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

The Blackhawks visited Carolina for their only road game of the entire month of February. They came into the game riding a 20-game road losing streak, which was still "embarrassing" according to Connor Bedard before the game, even though it...

Blackhawks at Hurricanes – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

The Blackhawks are have won half of their games since Connor Bedard returned. Yeah, they've only played twice, but that's a start, right? Tonight will be the first time Bedard and the Blackhawks see the Canes this season, which presents...

2024 NHL Draft: Let’s Compare Four Analysts’ Mid-Term Prospect Rankings

Over this past weekend I shared an updated 2024 NHL Mock Draft, looking ahead at what the first round might look like in June. It's always a fun endeavor that leads to a lot of conversation about which players a...

Latest News

UNLV vs. Colorado State: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The UNLV Rebels (15-10, 8-5 MWC) host the No. 22 Colorado State Rams (20-7, 8-6 MWC) in MWC action at Thomas & Mack Center, starting at 8:00 PM ET on Saturday, February 24, 2024.In its previous game, UNLV beat Air...

Raptors vs. Nets: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Toronto Raptors (19-36) will attempt to halt a three-game losing skid when hosting the Brooklyn Nets (21-33) at 7:00 PM ET on Thursday, February 22, 2024 at Scotiabank Arena. The contest airs on TSN.The Raptors are coming off of...

76ers vs. Knicks: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

Two of the NBA's best players will be on display when Tyrese Maxey (25.7 points per game, 14th in league) and the Philadelphia 76ers (32-22) welcome in Jalen Brunson (27.6, seventh) and the New York Knicks (33-22) on Thursday, February...

Summit League Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | February 22

Summit League teams will hit the court in four games on Thursday's college basketball slate. That includes the UMKC Kangaroos squaring off against the South Dakota Coyotes at Sanford Coyote Sports Center, and we have best bets recommendations across the...

America East Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | February 22

Thursday's college basketball schedule includes four games featuring America East teams on the court, and we're here to help you with best bets. Among those contests is the Vermont Catamounts taking on the Albany (NY) Great Danes.How to Bet on...

NEC Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | February 22

NEC teams will be in action across four games on Thursday's college basketball schedule, and we have your best bets information below. That includes the Merrimack Warriors squaring off against the Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash at Lawler Arena.How to...

Big Sky Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | February 22

Big Sky teams will be in action in four games on Thursday's college basketball schedule. That includes the Idaho Vandals squaring off against the Northern Colorado Bears at Bank of Colorado Arena, and we have best bets recommendations across the...

WAC Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | February 22

The Cal Baptist Lancers versus the Abilene Christian Wildcats is one of five games on the Thursday college basketball schedule that features a WAC team. If you look below, you can see our best bets for that conference action.How to...

Big West Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | February 22

The Thursday college basketball slate includes five games with a Big West team in action. Among those games is the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners squaring off against the Long Beach State Beach. Here are our recomendations for the best bets on...

Big Ten Basketball Predictions, Computer Picks and Best Bets | February 22

The Michigan Wolverines and the Northwestern Wildcats hit the court in one of three games on Thursday's college basketball schedule with Big Ten teams. Want best bets information? You've come to the right place.How to Bet on Big Ten Games[lasso...

more blackhawks news