The Chicago Blackhawks made a horrid trade on July 9th, 2019 when they sent Henri Jokiharju to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Alex Nylander. Jokiharju was probably a bad draft pick anyway but he is a solid bottom pair defenseman at times. He is certainly more valuable to an NHL team than Alex Nylander and always was.
Nylander was a former top-ten pick in the NHL Draft by Buffalo but he didn’t pan out the way that people would have thought. He has struggled to score goals and create for other linemates during his time in the league.
He has only scored 10 goals and had 16 assists for 26 points in 65 games for Chicago. He hasn’t played in a long time because of injuries and inconsistencies which is really a shame. He has a lot of talent but never really did anything with it.
We were reminded of this bad trade once again because the Hawks traded Nylander away. They sent him to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Sam Lafferty. It is probably a good trade because seeing what Lafferty can do is much better than anything Nylander would provide.
The Alex Nylander trade reminds Chicago Blackhawks fans of bad times.
Lafferty is a depth forward that can play both center and wing. He isn’t very offensively gifted but he has shown the ability to play well in the NHL before. So far this season, he has only played in ten games where he recorded two assists.
The Hawks made a bad trade in 2019 when they acquired Nylander and it became even worse as it became apparent that Nylander was never going to become a good NHL player. It was one of Stan Bowman’s clear mess-ups in his time as an NHL GM. This trade between Chicago and Pittsburgh brings out that bad memory that nobody wants to ever remember.
Lafferty might not be an upgrade over Nylander which is why the Jokiharju trade is so bad. At least now, the bad trade can be gone and a new player can be given an opportunity. It also gives two players a fresh start in new uniforms.
Hopefully, this is a sign of changes to come. The Hawks have a lot of dead weight on the roster and they need to figure it out in order to start winning again. Maybe Nylander will have some success in Pittsburgh’s organization but don’t count on it. At the end of the day, this trade probably makes the Hawks a better team which is the most important takeaway.