On a busy draft day, the Chicago Blackhawks have acquired center John Quenneville from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward John Hayden.
The trading of John Hayden is something that we all have seen coming for some time, as he never really found a consistent spot in the Blackhawks lineup with former head coach, Joel Quenneville, or current head coach, Jeremy Colliton.
This past season, Hayden struggled to figure out where he fits in the NHL. He showed flashes of having top nine talent, but then, would have long stretches ineffectiveness. Eventually, he found himself out of the lineup on a consistent basis. Hayden was only able to notch five points in 54 games and just could not seem to gain any momentum in his game.
When the Blackhawks signed Hayden out of Yale in 2017, he turned a lot of heads by showing some really solid play. He was nearly able to match his point total from 2018-2019 with four points in 12 games.
In his first full season with the Blackhawks, 2017-2018, he still had the makings of being a solid bottom six forward, playing with good intensity nightly and bringing an edge to the Blackhawks’ lineup.
Hayden was in desperate need of a change of scenery and this move to New Jersey looks like it could be a good fit for him. In return for Hayden, the Blackhawks receive former first-round pick John Quenneville, who hilariously is the second cousin of former bench boss, Joel Quenneville.
In John Quenneville, currently a restricted free agent, the Blackhawks get a bit of a wild card. He has struggled to make his mark at the NHL level with only five points in 33 games spread across three professional seasons. Although he hasn’t been able to find success at the NHL level, he has been a strong AHL player with 119 points in 138 games with the Binghampton Devils.
I don’t think there is any guarantee that Quenneville will be anything more than a scorer at the AHL level, but at the age of 23 and the lack of fit for John Hayden in coach Colliton’s system, this is a low-risk trade that could net them an NHL body at some point.
The trade of Hayden opens up a spot in the forward group for the Blackhawks, with players like Dominik Kubalik, Anton Wedin and even Quenneville vying for time in the NHL. Overall, this is a solid trade for Bowman as he looks to reshape the look and feel of this roster and is just a small part of what should continue to be a busy offseason for the Blackhawks