The Blackhawks traded defenseman Jan Rutta and a 2019 seventh-round pick to the Lightning for defenseman Slater Koekkoek and a 2019 fifth-round pick on Friday afternoon.
Koekkoek, a left-handed blue liner, had one assist and averaged 14:20 of ice time in nine NHL games this season. In 85 career NHL games, he has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) with Tampa Bay. He primarily played as a third-pairing defenseman when he was recalled from Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. He carries a $885,000 salary cap hit, and will be a restricted free agent after this season.
A change-up from the point is good for Slater Koekkoek's first career NHL goal! #NHLFirsts #PITvsTBL pic.twitter.com/24xTf0GAiC— NHL (@NHL) October 12, 2017
Of course, Howden + Namestnikov netted McDonagh/Miller, Drouin brought Sergachev, Connolly part of deadline deals when Coburn came. https://t.co/fsuOsD5Zan— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) January 11, 2019
Rutta joined the Blackhawks in June 2017 as an undrafted free agent out of the Czech Republic. He tallied 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 57 games during his first season. The Blackhawks signed him to a one-year contract extension worth $2.25 million with the Blackhawks last March to keep him in the fold.
Rutta stayed in a third-pairing role and was often a healthy scratch this season before being assigned to the AHL on Dec. 14. He had six points in 23 NHL games this season. In 80 NHL games with Chicago, he tallied 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists).
Koekkoek + 5th for Rutta +7th.— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) January 11, 2019
Rutta may have been CHI's most effective defenseman so far this year. Koekkoek's been TBL's worst. That's really neat.https://t.co/pI8q5Knprg pic.twitter.com/zvir5w6kKM
The Blackhawks now have eight draft picks for next June’s draft in Vancouver.
Chicago’s 2019 draft picks
- First round (CHI)
- Second round (CHI)
- Third round (To ARI for Kruger, Entwistle, Maletta, Campbell)
- Fourth round (CHI)
- Fourth round (From BOS for Wingles)
- Fifth round (To MTL for No. 139 in 2018 draft — Mikael Hakkarainen)
- Fifth round (From TB for Rutta)
- Fifth round (From ARI for Hossa, Hinostroza, Oesterle)
- Sixth round (CHI)
- Seventh round (To TB for Koekkoek)
- Seventh round (From ANA for Abbott, Carrick)