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Blackhawks trade for Seth Jones, reportedly agree to massive extension

Blackhawks trade for Seth Jones, give him massive $66.5M extension (Reports)

COLUMBUS, OH - MAY 3: Seth Jones #3 of the Columbus Blue Jackets awaits a face-off during the first period of a game against the Nashville Predators at Nationwide Arena on May 3, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

NHL teams keep making big trades for big-money defensemen who carry some big questions. The latest involves the biggest name of them all. Multiple reports indicate that the Blackhawks didn’t just trade for Seth Jones from the Blue Jackets; they also reportedly agreed to sign Jones to a massive extension.

It took some time for the Seth Jones trade details to emerge, but the Blackhawks confirmed the details with their swap:

Blackhawks reportedly trade for Seth Jones, hand him huge extension

It appears that the Blackhawks also agreed to an extension with Seth Jones, though it will take time for that to become official.

Initially, reports indicated that the Blackhawks followed the Seth Jones trade with a seven-year extension worth $66.5M. Instead, the pact is even bolder. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports (and is backed up by Pierre LeBrun) that it’s an eight-year contract, so it would be worth $76M. Both Dreger and LeBrun note that the Blackhawks will need to wait until Wednesday to sign Seth Jones to that extension.

Jones, 26, is closing out the final year of a contract that carries a $5.4M AAV. So, Jones’ reported $9.5M cap hit will kick in starting in 2022-23.

Whatever the final details of the Seth Jones trade-and-extension end up being, this is a massive gamble by the Blackhawks.

On the other side, the Blue Jackets landed a masterful trade package considering that Seth Jones was entering a contract year, and made it clear he wasn’t sticking around. Between this trade, and maximizing the trade value for David Savard and Nick Foligno, Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen deserves kudos.

A trend of teams ignoring analytics, boldly going for defensemen

Again, there are a few themes to recent trades, especially on the day of the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft.

Rasmus Ristolainen ranks as a notorious case of a blueliner whose charts look lousy. After some great years, Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s been brutal, too. Seth Jones (somewhat surprisingly) falls in that category, with his 2020-21 season being especially ugly.

If the Blackhawks are right, then Seth Jones will be a cornerstone of their defense for almost a decade. If they’re wrong, then they invested a massive amount of money (and some nice futures) in someone whose production may never line up with the prettiness of his “eye test.”

We’ll see, but either way, it’s definitely exciting.

Blue Jackets trade for Jake Bean

The Blue Jackets turned around and traded the 44th pick to the Hurricanes for defenseman Jake Bean. So, they’re building for the future with Bean and Boqvist. Strong work.