NHL Trade Deadline: Where Does Johnny Oduya Fit with the Chicago Blackhawks

Michael GibbonsCorrespondent IIFebruary 27, 2012

WINNIPEG, MB - FEBRUARY 21: Johnny Oduya #29 of the Winnipeg Jets during their NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers at MTS Centre on February 21, 2012 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks traded second- and third-round picks in the 2013 draft for defenseman Johnny Oduya on Monday.

In a separate move, they sent out spare defenseman John Scott to the Rangers for a fifth-round pick.

So where does Oduya fit with the Blackhawks?

Oduya isn't the top-four guy that general manager Stan Bowman was probably hoping for, but he should fit in nicely as part of the third defensive pairing.

It also probably means that Dylan Olsen will not be remaining with the team for the rest of the season. Niklas Hjalmarsson is expected to return to action Wednesday against the Maple Leafs, which may mean that Olsen will be sent back down to AHL Rockford.

Oduya won't help much on the power play, but should help a lot on the penalty kill. While he isn't too physical, he does block a decent amount of shots. In 63 games he has blocked 98 shots this season, which would be good enough for fourth in Chicago.

He also provides some good insurance in case Steve Montador is unable to return this season. Montador hasn't played since Feb. 7 in Colorado.

Ideally, I think the Hawks would like to see Montador and Oduya on the third pairing, but they will probably have to stick with the flip-flopping of Sami Lepisto and Sean O'Donnell if Montador is unable to return.

Oduya has been playing over 19 minutes a night for the Jets so hopefully his presence might mean fewer minutes for Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.

I personally am not blown away by this move and feel that Bowman could have made this deal a month ago. Oduya might be a slight upgrade, but I think I would prefer to see Olsen play the rest of the season.

So what do you think? Does this move solidify the defense and was it enough to help the Blackhawks reach their ultimate goal?

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