Blackhawks

Blackhawks trade Brandon Manning to Oilers in multi-player deal

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AP

Blackhawks trade Brandon Manning to Oilers in multi-player deal

The Blackhawks have shuffled the cards on defense over the last several weeks, and now they're slowly trying to clear the decks and make room for their prospects to play bigger roles.

After being a healthy scratch for the past eight games, Brandon Manning was traded to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday along with defenseman prospect Robin Norell in exchange for 24-year-old forward Drake Caggiula and 34-year-old defenseman Jason Garrison.

It's a move largely motivated to clear Manning's $2.25 million cap hit next season, and the Blackhawks successfully did so without having to retain salary or attach a noted prospect — Norell spent three seasons with the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League from 2015-18 before getting sent back to Djurgardens IF in Sweden this year. It also gives Manning a fresh start elsewhere on a less crowded blue line.

As far as the return, Caggiula is the most noteworthy player coming to Chicago. He has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 29 games with the Oilers this season, spending a good amount of time playing on a line with two-time Art Ross Trophy winner Connor McDavid.

The two of them played 144:21 minutes together at even strength and controlled 56.5 percent of the shot attempts when they were both on the ice, according to naturalstattrick.com. When Caggiula was away from McDavid, that percentage dropped to 45.3.

Caggiula, who led North Dakota to the 2016 NCAA Championship and was named the Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player, is capable of playing in the top-six and he's clearly more effective playing with skilled players, but is better suited in a third-line role on a good team. He can also play wing or center, making him a versatile option in the lineup. He carries a $1.5 million cap hit, which runs through the 2019-20 season when he becomes a restricted free agent.

Garisson has played in only 25 NHL games over the last two seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights and Oilers after playing 58 games in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves last year. He has one point in 17 games this season and has seen his ice time dip to an average of 12:42 per game, which is a career low.

Garrison, who has a cap hit of $650,000, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He is likely to end up in Rockford with Brandon Davidson (knee) nearing a return and Henri Jokiharju coming back after the IIHF World Junior Championship wraps up.

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2019 NHL Draft Profile: C Trevor Zegras

2019 NHL Draft Profile: C Trevor Zegras

From June 10-20, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile one top prospect per day — 11 total — leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft as the Blackhawks prepare to pick third overall.

Trevor Zegras

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 169 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report from Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley:

"Trevor is a high skilled centerman, very good skater, very, very creative, comfortable and creative with the puck."

Zegras describes his own game:

On his creativity: "I think growing up, watching a bunch of guys in the NHL like Patrick Kane mess around the ice, just something I’ve always done as a little kid. Maybe I rolled into the driveway and work on fun passes. It’s what I’m really good at."

NHL player comparable: Patrick Kane

Fit for Blackhawks:

Talk to any player on USA Hockey's National Team Development Program and they'll say Zegras was the most offensively gifted player of the group, which is saying a lot when you consider some of the names he's up against (Matthew Boldy, Cole Caufield, Jack Hughes, Alex Turcotte, to name a few).

At the NHL scouting combine, Zegras mentioned Kane several times as somebody he tries modeling his game after. The vision, the passing, the skating, the playmaking ability, the hockey IQ. He has it all offensively, and also doesn't get enough credit for his two-way game.

Zegras is somebody that has quickly been rising on draft boards, and it's because he has the potential to be a 90-point player in the NHL as a center. His name has been discussed by the Blackhawks at No. 3 and he's certainly a tempting option. Pair Zegras with Kane for the next decade and it's scary to think about the numbers the two could put up together.

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Predicting who Blackhawks will take at No. 3 overall

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Predicting who Blackhawks will take at No. 3 overall

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Slavko Bekovic and Charlie Roumeliotis react to the Olli Maatta trade and how this impacts the Blackhawks' defensive group. Is this the first of more moves to come?

The guys then break down their top-three candidates for the Blackhawks at No. 3 overall and predict who the pick will be on Friday. They also discuss how the Blackhawks' selection may impact the offseason and the big picture going forward.

0:40 – Initial reaction to the Olli Maatta trade

3:45 – How Maatta fits with the Blackhawks

7:45 – Filling Dominik Kahun’s spot

10:00 – Maatta’s contract situation

11:00 – Our top-3 draft predictions

18:30 – Official predictions on who the Blackhawks will pick

24:30 – Is there a wrong pick in the top 10?

27:30 – If the Blackhawks don’t pick D, the forward is…?

29:30 – How the Blackhawks selections shape the offseason

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

Subscribe:

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