CHICAGO, IL—The Blackhawks sent forwards Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for former Blackhawk Brandon Saad and goaltender Anton Forsberg. Chicago also issued Columbus a sixth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft and they have in turn received a fifth-round pick in 2018.
Panarin, who stands at 5 feet and 11 inches tall, weighs 170 pounds and ranked second on Chicago in points with 74. His career stats include 31 goals (for which he was also ranked second) and 43 assists, trailing behind forward Patrick Kane who collected 89 points (34 goals and 55 assists).
He was admitted to the NHL Second All-Star Team, and after signing a two-year contract in 2015-2016, he won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie. In 82 games, he collected 77 points (30 goals and 47 assists) that season.
According to Dan Milstein, Panarin’s agent, the 25 year-old was informed of the trade before departing for a fishing trip in Russia. Both Milstein and Panarin were caught off guard. Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman contended that the decision to trade Panarin was “very difficult.”
Motte, 22, stands 5 foot and 9 inches tall. He is a native of Port Huron, Michigan and weighs 190 pounds. He signed a three-year entry level contract with Chicago in 2016 after wrapping up a three-year career with the University of Michigan Wolverines. He departed from his collegiate career with 105 points (50 goals and 55 assists) in 107 games.
As a rookie this past season, Motte divided his playing time between the Blackhawks and their affiliate team, the Rockford IceHogs. He appeared in 33 games with the Blackhawks, collecting seven points (four goals and three assists). In 43 games with the IceHogs, he attained 16 points (10 goals and six assists).
Saad and Forsberg joined the team shortly after the loss of forward Marian Hossa (Saad’s former linemate), who will be absent during the upcoming season due to side effects of a skin disorder medication, and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, who was chosen by the Vegas Golden Knights in Wednesday’s Expansion Draft.
The newly acquired defenseman, Dublin, Ohio born Connor Murphy (who was traded to Chicago with forward Laurent Dauphin in exchange for defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson), is set to replace van Riemsdyk, reports note.
Saad, who hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is 6 foot and 4 inches tall and weighs just over 200 pounds. A former Blackhawk who won the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015, he registered 53 points (24 goals and 29 assists) in 82 games with the Blue Jackets in 2016-2017 (his second season with the team, to whom he was traded in 2015). He also attained three points (one goal and two assists) in five playoff games.
Saad has appeared in a total of 368 games with both Columbus and Chicago, with whom he spent his first four seasons in the NHL. He currently holds 232 points, comprised of 107 goals and 125 assists. He was a second-round (43rd overall) pick for the Blackhawks in 2011.
Hailing from Harnosand, Sweden, Forsberg, 24, split the last three seasons between Columbus and AHL farm teams in Cleveland (Lake Erie Monsters) and Springfield (Springfield Falcons, affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes). He was a seventh-round (188th overall) pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.
A former member of the 2012 World Junior championship team in his home country, Forsberg was a part of the 2016 Calder Cup champion Lake Erie Monsters and Springfield. His NHL career record to date consists of 1-8-0 in 10 games. With one start for the Blue Jackets this past season, he holds a 4.02 GAA and .879 save percentage.
He started in 51 games with Cleveland last season, cultivating a 27-17-2 record, a 2.28 goals against average (GAA), and a .926 save percentage. During the 2015-2016 playoffs with the Monsters, he posted a flawless 9-0 record with a 1.34 GAA and .949 save percentage. Forsberg holds a 73-35-12 record in 126 AHL career games.
On June 23, the first day of the 2017 NHL Draft at their home stadium (the United Center), the Blackhawks selected Portland Winterhawks (WHL) defenseman Henri Jokiharju in the first round (29th overall). Kane and team captain Jonathan Toews reportedly contributed to the decision of selecting Jokiharju.