The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired forward Brett Connolly, defenseman Riley Stillman, forward prospect Henrik Borgstrom and a seventh-round draft pick from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Lucas Wallmark and defenseman Lucas Carlsson.
The Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers completed a trade Thursday afternoon. Pierre LeBrun first reported this deal. In Brett Connolly, the Blackhawks are getting another former first-round pick. Connolly has four points this season and carries a $3.5 million dollar cap hit through 2022–23. Connolly was drafted by Tampa Bay sixth overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and signed a four-year contract with the Panthers in 2019.
Riley Stillman has appeared in eight NHL games this season and is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of this season. The former fourth-round pick has only appeared in 43 NHL games for his career and is still only 23 years old.
Henrik Borgstrom is currently playing in Finland after appearing in four NHL games last season. The former first-round pick has 19 points in 27 games for HIFK of Liiga. After being drafted No. 23 in 2016, Borgstrom has appeared in 59 NHL games.
The Blackhawks sent back Lucas Wallmark and Lucas Carlsson. Wallmark had signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks prior to this season and cleared waivers earlier this week. In Carlsson, the Panthers are getting a 23-year-old defenseman. He has 18 NHL games under his belt and hopes the change of scenery will yield more results at the NHL level.
With over $20 million in long-term injured reserve cap space, the Blackhawks are able to take on Connolly’s $3.5 million dollar cap hit along with potential future assets in Borgstrom, Stillman and a draft pick. The expectation is that the Blackhawks will continue to user their LTIR cap space to acquire younger assets for the future as part of their rebuild.
Connolly and Stillman were assigned to the taxi squad by the Panthers prior to the trade being finalized, and will remain on the Blackhawks’ taxi squad while quarantining. By Connolly being on the taxi squad, his cap hit is reduced to $2.425 million until recalled to the active roster.
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