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Blackhawks trade Henri Jokiharju to Sabres for Alexander Nylander

Chicago GM Stan Bowman has now traded six first-round draft picks he’s made.

Nashville Predators v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Sara Schmidle/NHLI via Getty Images

The Blackhawks traded defenseman Henri Jokiharju to the Sabres in exchange for winger Alexander Nylander on Tuesday.

Jokiharju, 20, had 12 assists and a 54.1-percent Corsi rating in 38 NHL games and 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) in 30 AHL games in his first professional season. He played heavy minutes with veteran Duncan Keith on the top pairing, but fell out of favor once Jeremy Colliton took over after Joel Quenneville was fired in November.

The Blackhawks loaned Jokiharju to Finland’s national junior team in Decemeber for the World Junior Championship, where he won a gold medal. He returned for a brief time before being assigned to the AHL. The Blackhawks selected him with the 29th overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft in Chicago.

Jokiharju is the sixth first-round selection Bowman has made that he’s ended up trading, including Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault (2011), Teuvo Teravainen (2012), Ryan Hartman (2013), Nick Schmaltz (2014) and now Jokiharju.

“Henri is a young, mobile defenseman who has shown he can compete at the NHL level,” Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill said in a release. “His international success last season only furthered his development and we are excited to add him to our current group of defensemen.”

Nylander, 21, had four points (two goals, two assists) in 12 NHL games for the Sabres and 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists) in 49 AHL games for the Rochester Americans. The 6-foot-1, 192-pound winger is a Chicago Mission product and was drafted eighth overall in the 2016 NHL draft in Buffalo. He is signed through the 2020-21 season with a $863,333 salary cap hit.

Nylander is the son of former Blackhawks center Michael Nylander (1999-2003) and younger brother of Maple Leafs winger William Nylander.


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