Right, so Bowman is at it again. The Blackhawks have made another trade that’s got some people scratching their heads (and pretty heated on Twitter).
This trade is.. confusing. It’s a one for one deal, there’s no big money move or pick exchange. It’s just simple. Which is what makes this confusing, there seems to be no motive that this will lead to something else. Which seems to be Stan’s status quo right now.
But if there was no cap relief or big move, what’s his plan?
A shocking fact is that with this trade, Bowman has traded away every 1st round draft pick from 2011-2017:
- Mark McNeil (Sent to Dallas, mostly in AHL)
- Phillip Danault (Sent to Montreal)
- Teuvo Teravainen (Sent to Carolina)
- Ryan Hartman (Sent to Nashville)
- Nick Schmaltz (Sent to Arizona)
- Henri Jokiharju (Sent to Buffalo)
It doesn’t make much sense to trade away such a promising prospect but at this point it’s c’est la vie. It’s what Bowman does. If he has a plan or not, the trade happened. So instead of being pissy about it, let’s think of what can come of this.
For Buffalo, Jokiharju is a strong defenseman with talented skating abilities. He’s not a massive scorer but will set up someone to snipe it in. In 38 NHL games, Henri had 12 points from 12 assists. In the AHL, Henri went 30 games with 17 points (2 goals and 15 assists). The Sabres have 8 non-Roster defensemen, he’ll have to battle for his time to shine but he’s a bright kid so he’ll definitely be seeing more NHL ice time real soon.
As for Chicago, the Hawks have been stacking up recently. The team just signed Kirby Dach, who went 3rd overall this past draft (and hopefully won’t get traded in 2 years), and are now up to 16 non-roster forwards.
Last season, Nylander split his time between the NHL and AHL. He played in 12 NHL games with the Sabres, collecting 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists). In the minors, Nylander played in 49 games with 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists). The kid has got talent, it just needs to be harnessed and controlled. He’s got great hockey sense, great release on his shot, creative but he’s inconsistent.
Nylander gets a fresh start in Chicago with fresh coaches and teammates. He’d be a deadly shooter for the Hawks should things go well. He’d be a huge asset to this team – that’s desperately avoiding using the word “rebuild”. Hawks fans have seen a zero to hero story before and it can happen again.
Personally, I hate when a player is traded and everyone automatically shits all over them, it’s not how I roll. Give him time to play with his new teammates, build some chemistry with them and the coaches, and work in the summer and preseason.
Don’t automatically be that asshole who is always in a sour mood about everything. Give him a God damn second to prove what he can do with this team. If its a bust, okay we learn and adapt. Just give him a chance first. Rome wasn’t built – er rebuilt- in a day.
(Still, Bowman, what is the plan?)
Featured Image: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images