DALLAS — The Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Nikita Zaitsev, a second-round pick in 2023 and a fourth-round pick in 2026 from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for future considerations, the team announced before Wednesday's game in Dallas.
Zaitsev is 31 years old and carries a cap hit of $4.5 million for this season and next. The Blackhawks essentially received future assets by helping Ottawa shed his salary.
The Blackhawks' acquisition of Zaitsev also helps them to get to the floor next season but also ensures they'll have NHL bodies on defense for the rest of this season if players like Jack Johnson and Jake McCabe are moved before the March 3 trade deadline.
"We are getting an NHL caliber defenseman and acquiring very valuable draft capital in this upcoming draft and beyond," Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said in a statement. "Nikita gives us added depth on the right side and we anticipate him joining us soon."
It sounds like there might be some immigration hurdles with Zaitsev, but the plan is for him to join the team soon, according to a source. Zaitsev has five assists in 29 games with the Senators this season, and he's also appearing in five games with their AHL affiliate Belleville Senators.
With the trade, the Blackhawks now have 10 draft picks in 2023, including two first-rounders, three second-rounders and two third-rounders.
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