The rumors have been swirling for weeks, and just hours before the NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks have completed a massive blockbuster trade.
Per the team’s official release, the Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Seth Jones from the Columbus Blue Jackets, as well as the 32nd overall pick this year and a sixth-rounder in next year’s draft. In exchange, defenseman Adam Boqvist is headed to Columbus, along with the Hawks’ 11th and 44th overall picks this year, and a first-rounder in 2022.
However, general manager Stan Bowman wasn’t done making a splash. After the trade was complete, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that the ‘Hawks signed Jones to an eight-year contract extension valued at $9.5 million per year.
Per CapFriendly, Jones was entering the final year of a six-year, $32 million contract with Columbus. For the ‘Hawks to sign him to such a massive extension must mean that they sincerely believe that Jones is the future of this team’s defensive core.
This deal basically means that the Blackhawks will not be able to re-sign both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane when their contracts expire in two years. Additionally, the ‘Hawks have moved all the way down this year’s draft board to dead last in the first round.
Overall, this was a massive package to give up to acquire the 26-year old Jones. On one hand, he has been declining in performance somewhat from his rookie years, although he is in the prime of his career right now and could easily turn things around.
That being said, it seems as though Stan Bowman believes that the Blackhawks are simply Seth Jones and a few other pieces away from being Stanley Cup contenders, and this just doesn’t appear to be the case.
This appears, on the surface, to be a trade that will come back to massively bite the Blackhawks, and Columbus seems to have made out like bandits. For what it’s worth now, though, Jones is a Blackhawk for the long haul, and he will also be reunited with his brother Caleb Jones, who was acquired in the trade that sent Duncan Keith to Edmonton.
This should be an ‘interesting’ trade to look back on in a few seasons, especially given the devastating ramifications for the Blackhawks in this year’s draft. For now, though, welcome to Chicago, Seth Jones, and let’s hope he at least provides some great looks in a ‘Hawks sweater!