Blackhawks send Jokiharju to Sabres for Nylander in surprising prospect swap

Blackhawks acquire Nylander from Sabres

A Nylander on the move.

The Buffalo Sabres made a decision to improve their defensive depth on Tuesday by acquiring defenseman Henri Jokiharju from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Alexander Nylander. The 20-year-old Finn split last season with the Rockford IceHogs (AHL) and had 17 points in 30 games in the minors, good for 0.57 points per game on average.

Drafted by Chicago in the first round (29th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, Jokiharju was named to the Western Conference Second All-Star Team in 2018 after recording 71 points (12/59) in 63 games for the Portland Winterhawks (WHL).

He has six points (three goals, three assists) in 19 National Hockey League games the past three seasons. At 21, it's too early to call the 2016 eighth-overall pick a bust - and let's not forget how the Blackhawks have helped transform Dylan Strome's career after he had failed to fit in with the Arizona Coyotes, who drafted him third overall in 2015.

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Buffalo adds Jokiharju to a defensive corps that has already added Colin Miller this offseason after Rasmus Dahlin and Brandon Montour were brought into the fold over the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, Jokiharju appeared in 38 games for the Blackhawks last season. But after adding to the unit with the acquisitions of Calvin de Haan and Olli Maatta, Chicago has dealt from a surplus to acquire a raw talent in Nylander.

Alex's father, Michael, played for the Blackhawks from 1999-2002.

PuckPedia has a full breakdown of the trade.

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