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Blackhawks acquire Ian McCoshen from Panthers for Aleksi Saarela

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Chicago makes a minor-league swap with Florida.

Nashville Predators v Florida Panthers Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

The Blackhawks acquired left-handed defenseman Ian McCoshen from the Panthers in exchange for forward Aleksi Saarela on Tuesday night.

McCoshen is on a two-way deal worth $700,000. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound blue liner will report to the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, and wear No. 12.

The 24-year-old McCoshen had four assists in seven games this season with the Springfield Thunderbirds in the AHL. The Panthers drafted him in the second round (31st overall) in the 2013 NHL draft. He has seven points (four goals, three assists) in 60 regular-season NHL games with Florida and 30 points (four goals, 26 assists) in 115 career AHL games since 2016.

Chicago acquired Saarela in a four-player trade with the Hurricanes in July. He was a promising addition to Chicago’s pipeline after scoring 30 goals in the regular season and seven goals in the playoffs to help the Charlotte Checkers win the Calder Cup.

In August, he criticized Carolina during an interview with a Finnish newspaper for not calling him up to the NHL. He then didn’t make the Blackhawks’ opening-day roster and was assigned to Rockford prior to the team’s trip to Europe for the NHL Global Series. He had one assist and was seeing limited time on the IceHogs’ second power-play unit in five games.

The 22-year-old Saarela is the older brother of Blackhawks prospect Antti Saarela, who was selected in the fourth round (123rd overall) in this year’s draft.