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Blackhawks acquire Andreas Englund from Avalanche for Jack Johnson

Just the move we were all expecting to see this weekend.

Colorado Avalanche v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks made the trade they’ve been expected to make all weekend, trading away ... Jack Johnson?

Hang on.

And we’re back!

Yes, it’s true: the Blackhawks did make a trade on Sunday night but it was not the expected one, sending defenseman Jack Johnson back to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Andreas Englund.

Johnson, who turned 36 in January, signed with the Blackhawks last summer after winning the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche last season. In 58 games with the Blackhawks this season, Johnson had four points — all assists — while averaging 19:50 of ice time last season. He appeared in 74 regular-season games with the Avalanche last season, scoring his lone goal in the season opener against the Blackhawks. He played in 13 postseason games without tallying a point.

Englund is a 27-year-old Sweden native who has played in 36 games this season with three points — all assists — while averaging just 11:16 of ice time. The 6-foot-3, 189-pound blue-liner is a left-handed shot and was a second-round pick of the Ottawa Senators in the 2014 NHL Draft. He played sparingly in Ottawa, scattering 33 NHL games over four seasons between 2016-17 and 2019-20. He went back to Sweden for the COVID-affected 2020-21 hockey season, although injuries kept him from playing at any point. Englund came back to North America in the summer of 2021, landing an AHL deal with the Colorado Eagles and he played well enough to receive an NHL contract from the Avalanche last July. He started this hockey season in the AHL before injuries rushed him up to the NHL level.

Given that he’s already 27 years old and was barely cracking the double-digit mark in terms of average ice time, Englund doesn’t appear to be much more than one of the 18 skaters that the Blackhawks are required to dress for every NHL game for the rest of this season. His contract, with a cap hit of $750,000, expires at the end of this season and Englund will be an unrestricted free agent after that.

Depending on how long it takes Englund to join the team, he may not even need to change his number!