BREAKING: Blackhawks acquire Mikheyev, Lafferty and draft pick from Vancouver Canucks


Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Kyle Davidson continued to pluck assets from salary cap-strapped teams on Wednesday, just ahead of Friday’s NHL Entry Draft. He sent a 2027 fourth-round draft pick to the Vancouver Canucks for forward Ilya Mikheyev, the unrestricted free agent rights to former Blackhawk Sam Lafferty and a 2027 second-round draft pick.

The 29-year-old, 6-foot-2-inch, 192-pound Ilya Mikheyev began his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019. He signed a four-year contract with the Canucks on July 13, 2022, which has two years remaining at an average annual value of $4.75 million, but the Canucks retained 15% of that deal, so Chicago is on the hook for $4,037,500 for this coming season and next.

Mikheyev has 131 points (60 goals, 71 assists) in 270 regular-season games with the Maple Leafs and Canucks, and four points (two goals, two assists) in 30 playoff games. He can play both wing positions and can easily slot in the Blackhawks’ top six, while also helping Davidson hit the salary cap floor.

Davidson also picked up a name familiar to Blackhawks fans in acquiring the rights to forward Sam Lafferty. Lafferty had his best NHL season with the Blackhawks in 2022–23, when he put up 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 51 games before he was traded to the Maple Leafs on Feb. 27, 2023, prior to the trade deadline. He is scheduled to become a UFA on July 1, but the Blackhawks have negotiating rights to now sign him ahead of that date. The 29-year-old would be able to fill a bottom-six spot if the Blackhawks are able to sign him.

Lafferty was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth-round (No. 113) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He has 83 points (36 goals, 47 assists) in 289 regular-season games and three points (one goal, two assists) in 21 playoff games with the Penguins, Blackhawks, Maple Leafs and Canucks.


Davidson continues to weaponize his salary cap space and flexibility to take on short-term bloated contracts from teams facing salary cap issues and acquiring additional assets along the way. Mikheyev and Lafferty are fine depth players who can fill out the roster this season as the Blackhawks continue to draft and develop a young core around last season’s prized draft pick Connor Bedard. The fact that Davidson was able to get Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin to eat 15% of Mikheyev’s salary is a master-class move.

This move opens up all kinds of possibilities for the Blackhawks. If Mikheyev can re-ignite his career, after knee surgery, he could be a trade deadline flip candidate this year or next. Davidson could eat a portion of his salary and make Mikheyev a reasonably cheap depth acquisition for a contender. If they keep him for the next two seasons, given he has fully recovers from said knee surgery, Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson has a flexible veteran forward to add to an already experienced group of mentors with Nick Foligno, Taylor Hall, Andreas Athanasiou, Ryan Donato, Jason Dickinson, Seth Jones and Connor Murphy.

Lafferty could give the Blackhawks an opportunity to do something that you often hear from fans: Bring back a fan favorite. If Davidson can re-sign him, Lafferty could also be a trade deadline flip once again. His rights could also be traded at the draft for another asset or as part of another deal as well. The Blackhawks are scheduled to make eight picks in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft this weekend.

Ilya Mikheyev and Sam Lafferty were traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday for a fourth-round pick in the 2027 NHL Draft.

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