NHL Trade: Blackhawks Send Jokiharju To Sabres for Nylander

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded defenseman Henri Jokiharju to the Buffalo Sabres for forward Alex Nylander.

The 20-year old Jokiharju was drafted 29th overall in the first round of the 2017 draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 21-year old Nylander was drafted 8th overall in the first round of the 2016 draft by the Buffalo Sabres.

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

Thoughts from the media

John Vogl: “Sabres’ right-handed defense:


Lance Lysowski: “Can’t say I understand this trade from the Blackhawks’ perspective, though Nylander remains an intriguing player. The #Sabres just landed a potential top-four defenseman. The surplus at RHD grows.”

Mike Harrington: “If I’m Botterill I absolutely take my chances on somebody else’s first-rounder cuz Alex Nylander has shown very little signs of being an NHL player. And Bott didn’t draft him anyway. But, um, lots of RD.”

Mark Lazerus: “Obviously, I think this is a bad move. That’s pretty clear. But to be fair, Dylan Strome was three years removed from his draft and seen as a bust when the Blackhawks acquired him last season. They’re clearly hoping the “change of scenery” thing will work again.”

Jay Zawaski: “I will say that I would have expected a more proven return for their top defensive prospect.”

Ben Pope: “Here’s the thing. Nylander certainly could grow into a good player with a change of scenery. But Bowman portrayed him on the teleconference like a special guy he went out and targeted, in de Haan-esque style. I just don’t see what he’s done to attract that attention.”

Dobber Hockey: “Something is up for sure, since D are generally considered a lot more valuable than a forward even if everyone agrees on Nylander (I get accused a lot of being too hard on him). I had just figured maybe Joki’s agent was putting some pressure on. Or maybe CHI loves Nylander”

  • James O’Brien: “The Blackhawks souring on Jokiharju says a lot about their “process,” although the real clincher would be if they actually, truly, want to keep Brent Seabrook.”
  • Dobber Hockey: “This is my thought process: 1. Buffalo soured on Nylander 2. Jokiharju soured on Chicago 3. Chicago had prospect depth at D”

J.D. Burke: “I neither like nor understand this trade from the Blackhawks’ perspective. Great deal for the Sabres.”

Will Scouch: “Yes, the Blackhawks can technically afford to lose a defense prospect but the thing about prospects is that they aren’t NHL players. Betting that your other prospects will fill a gap left by another promising one when you’re getting an unproven scoring winger is… um… dumb.”

Dmitri Filipovic: “I really like the blueline the Sabres are assembling. With Dahlin, Montour, Miller and Jokiharju they can really play at a super high tempo and move the puck around. Plus an added perk is that this might even embolden them to finally cash in on Ristolainen while they still can.”

Sabres Talk: “This is only another sign that the Sabres are likely going to move a defenseman, likely a right handed defenseman whether that be Risto or Bogo.”

Cam Robinson: “Yeeeeah I’m not loving that deal for the Blackhawks. Henri Jokiharju looks like a very safe top-four option. Alex Nylander is far from a lock to be just a second-line winger.”

@Prospects_Watch: “The @BuffaloSabres have added Henri Jokiharju, Jimmy Vesey, Colin Miller and Marcus Johansson and the only body they have given up is Alex Nylander who played 12 games for them last season. No 1st RD picks given up either for the 3 players they acquired via trade out of this list”

Scott Krinch: “Stan Bowman has now traded every one of his 1st round picks from 2011-2017:

Mark McNeill
Phillip Danault
Teuvo Teravainen
Ryan Hartman
Nick Schmaltz
Henri Jokiharju”

Let’s get started.@3Hayden2 released data on the likelihood of players making the NHL last year. Jokiharju was a lock (>90%) to make it back up. Nylander was at ~28%.

Advantage: BUF pic.twitter.com/SwFE8Zv2wE

— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) July 9, 2019

While in the NHL, Jokiharju was CHI’s best defender at preventing entries, creating zone exits, and best primary shot contributor, all while on his ELC. pic.twitter.com/4GJXFaqCfH

— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) July 9, 2019

Somehow, Jokiharju managed a +6.9 Corsi differential per 60 at even-strength last year while with the Blackhawks. That was the best mark among CHI defenders and the best of any Hawk not named Sikura (370 mins). pic.twitter.com/eTnfuzalM8

— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) July 9, 2019

Henri Jokiharju

Alex Nylander