Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Sept. 22, 2021

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Former Winterhawks standout Seth Jones traded to Blackhawks

Defenseman gets $76 million, 8-year contract extension

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SECAUCUS, N.J. — Seth Jones is now with the Chicago Blackhawks and could become the organization’s cornerstone on the blue line.

Chicago acquired the star defenseman from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a blockbuster trade Friday just before the NHL draft began. The Blackhawks got Jones and the 32nd pick in the draft and a 2022 sixth-rounder from the Blue Jackets for younger defenseman Adam Boqvist, the 12th and 44th picks in the draft and a 2022 first-rounder.

Jones, a former Portland Winterhawks standout, agreed to terms on a $76 million, eight-year extension that carries a $9.5 million annual salary cap hit, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the extension cannot be signed until next week.

The Blackhawks acquired Seth’s brother, Caleb, last week in a trade that sent Duncan Keith to Edmonton. Caleb Jones could be a part of Chicago’s future, but Seth is expected to be the No. 1 defenseman for yeras to come.

Jones skated more than 25 minutes a game last season and recorded 28 points in 56 games. He has 286 points in 580 regular-season NHL games.

The trade was the fourth of the day, and Columbus also acquired defenseman Jake Bean from Carolina for the 44th pick in the draft.

The Arizona Coyotes pulled off the other blockbuster Friday, sending captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland to the Vancouver Canucks for the No. 9 selection, a 2022 second-round pick, 2023 seventh-rounder and three veteran forwards.

The St. Louis Blues also acquired high-scoring forward Pavel Buchnevich from the New York Rangers for Sammy Blais and a 2022 second-round pick. Earlier in the day, the Philadelphia Flyers traded the 14th pick and a 2023 second-rounder to the Buffalo Sabres for big defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.

“He’s a player we’ve been looking at the last three years,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said of Ristolainen. “He can shoot the puck, he can skate, he’s big and strong.”

While the Flyers paid a hefty price for a sought-after player in Ristolainen who has one year left on his contract, the Canucks acquired a defenseman in Ekman-Larsson who’s signed for six more years at a salary-cap hit of $8.25 million. Garland is a restricted free agent in need of a new deal, and Arizona had been shopping him and Ekman-Larsson for some time.

“(Ekman-Larsson) is a tremendous player and person, and we wish him and Conor the best of luck in the future,” Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said. “We are very pleased to acquire the ninth overall draft choice in this year’s NHL draft along with Loui, Antoine and Jay.”

Arizona is retaining a portion of Ekman-Larsson’s salary and took on Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle and Loui Eriksson — all set to be free agents after next season — to add another draft pick. The Coyotes forfeited their first-round pick this year, 11th overall, for testing players in violation of NHL combine policy.

After a handful of trades Thursday when the roster freeze was lifted, Philadelphia and Buffalo kicked off the movement Friday with the trade of Ristolainen, who said he “knew something might happen this offseason, this weekend.”

Not so much for Buchnevich, who was fourth in scoring for the Rangers and looked like a piece of their young core. But new president and general manager Chris Drury dealt the 26-year-old to St. Louis to add a second Stanley Cup champion in a week after trading for gritty forward Barclay Goodrow, who won back-to-back with Tampa Bay.

On the signing front, the Boston Bruins locked up Taylor Hall with a $24 million, four-year contract. Hall will count $6 million against the salary cap through the 2024-25 season. Buffalo dealt Hall to Boston at the trade deadline and he fit in perfectly as a complementary forward on the second line.

Also, the Montreal Canadiens said goalie Carey Price had knee surgery and is expected to be out 10-12 weeks. The team expects Price, who went unselected by Seattle in the expansion draft more because of his contract than his uncertain injury status, to be ready for the start of the regular season in mid-October.

AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow and AP Sports Writers Jay Cohen and Dan Gelston contributed to this report.

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