Artemi Panarin Traded to Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad in Multi-Player Deal

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks' Artemi Panarin in action during an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets completed a blockbuster trade Friday that sent forward Brandon Saad back to the Windy City in exchange for forward Artemi Panarin, the Blackhawks announced.

According to TSN's Pierre LeBrun, the Blackhawks also received goalie Anton Forsberg and a 2018 fifth-round draft pick, while the Blue Jackets got forward Tyler Motte and a 2017 sixth-round draft choice.

The trade continued a busy draft day for the Blackhawks, who had earlier traded defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin.

In Panarin, the Blue Jackets will receive a 25-year-old who topped 30 goals and 70 points in each of the past two seasons.

The Russian won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 2015-16, and he formed a dynamic partnership in Chicago with Patrick Kane.

Saad previously spent three seasons with the Blackhawks, and he was traded to the Blue Jackets prior to the 2015-16 season.

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The 24-year-old registered 53 points in each of the past two seasons, scoring 31 goals in 2015-16 and 24 last season.

Saad won two Stanley Cups during his first stint with the Blackhawks, and as pointed out by NHL.com's Brian Hedger, he and captain Jonathan Toews had great chemistry:

Per NHLNumbers.com, both Saad and Panarin have $6 million cap hits, but Saad is under contract for four more years, while Panarin has just two years remaining on his deal.

With regard to the other pieces involved, Forsberg is a 24-year-old goalie with just 10 games of NHL experience who could replace Scott Darling as Chicago's backup goalie.

The 22-year-old Motte put up seven points in 33 games for the Blackhawks last season and 16 points in 43 AHL contests for the Rockford IceHogs.

After getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, the Blackhawks have gone back to their roots and made a move that could make them better built for postseason success, while Columbus landed a dynamic playmaker.

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