Chicago Blackhawks at the trade deadline: 4 moves include landing Adam Gaudette and dealing Mattias Janmark, Carl Soderberg and Matthew Highmore

Phil Thompson, Chicago Tribune
·5 min read

The Chicago Blackhawks have made four trades Monday before the 2 p.m. NHL trade deadline.

In separate deals, the Hawks dealt forward Mattias Janmark to the Vegas Golden Knights as part of a package for draft picks, sent forward Matthew Highmore to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Adam Gaudette and shipped forward Carl Soderberg to the Colorado Avalanche for forward Josh Dickinson and forward prospect Ryder Rolston.

And in a late move just before the deadline, the Hawks traded little-used defenseman Madison Bowey and a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Canucks for a 2021 fourth-round pick. Bowey signed a two-year contract in January but appeared in only two games this season with one assist.

The Hawks dealt Janmark and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick as part of a three-team trade involving the Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks.

— The Hawks get Vegas’ second-round pick in 2021 and a third-rounder in 2022.

— The Golden Knights get Janmark (via the Sharks), with the Hawks retaining $1,225,000 of his salary (50%), as well as Sharks defensive prospect Nick DeSimone (via the Hawks) and the Hawks’ 2022 fifth-round pick.

— The Sharks get Vegas’ 2022 fifth-round pick, originally from the Buffalo Sabres.

After playing in the Stanley Cup Final last season with the Dallas Stars, Janmark joined the Hawks on a one-year deal with a $2.25 million cap hit.

Dissatisfied with how he was used in Dallas, he said he was looking to show he could be more than a defensive-minded forward and beefed up his offensive role with the Hawks.

He had 10 goals and nine assists in 41 games for the Hawks, though an assist against the Carolina Hurricanes on April 1 was his lone point since putting up a goal and an assist March 18 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In the Soderberg deal, the Hawks flipped an impending free agent on a one-year deal for a haul that includes the 6-foot, 175-pound Rolston, the 102nd-ranked North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s final list for the 2020 draft. The Avalanche picked the winger in the fifth round, 139th overall.

In the third round of that draft, the Hawks selected forward Landon Slaggert, Rolston’s teammate at Notre Dame this past season as well as with the national development program and under-18 team in 2018-19.

Dickinson has split the last three seasons between the AHL Colorado Eagles and ECHL Utah Grizzlies.

Earlier in the day, the Hawks acquired Gaudette for Highmore in an exchange of forwards.

Gaudette, 24, has four goals and three assists in 33 games for the Canucks this season. In 153 games over four seasons, all with Vancouver, he has 21 goals and 31 assists.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound, right-handed center played in 10 playoff games last summer but didn’t register a point.

The Canucks drafted Gaudette in the fifth round in 2015. He played three seasons at Northeastern University, winning the 2018 Hobey Baker Award as the best player in NCAA Division I hockey. He led the nation in points (60) and points per game (1.62) that season.

Last season with the Canucks, he had career highs of 12 goals and 21 assists in 59 games.

“Saw him a lot last year when we played them,” Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “He’s big and skilled. I think he scored, made some plays against us, but still a young player. We’ll get him here and go from there.”

Colliton wasn’t sure how soon that would be — Gaudette entered the league’s COVID-19 protocol on March 30, just before 16 of the 22 active players on the Canucks roster went onto the unavailable list. Gaudette came off the list Sunday.

Gaudette has a cap hit of $950,000 and is signed through the end of the season. He will be assigned to the active roster.

Highmore had four goals and six assists in 73 games with the Hawks over three seasons. He has a cap hit of $725,000, meaning the Hawks will take on $225,000, but they have plenty of cap room.

Highmore showed signs of potential late last season with three goals and an assist in the nine games in the Edmonton bubble. But he couldn’t build on that progress — he has just two assists and a minus-5 rating in 24 games this season. And players such as Brandon Hagel have taken on similar roles, with the Hawks employing a rotation of forwards on the fourth line.

“The one thing you appreciate about Highmore is his work ethic and attention to detail,” Colliton said. “It’s hard to find a bigger team guy with his willingness to do the right thing for the team at all times.

“He’s done well with the opportunity that he’s gotten, and from his standpoint, hopefully he can use this to get a little boost and a new opportunity.”

With potential moves still on the table before the 2 p.m. deadline, the Hawks have been active in the trade market.

In addition to the three deals Monday, the Hawks traded forward Lucas Wallmark and defenseman Lucas Carlsson to the Florida Panthers on Thursday for forward Brett Connolly, defenseman Riley Stillman, forward prospect Henrik Borgstrom and a seventh-round pick.

That deal came after another trade with the Panthers, shipping prospect Brad Morrison to Florida for former Hawk Vinnie Hinostroza. Hinostroza has played three games for the Hawks and has two assists — his first two points of the season.

“We’re trying to get back to being an elite team,” Colliton said. “I think every move that we make, sometimes it’s indirect, the relationship to what we’re trying to do, but everything (president of hockey operations) Stan (Bowman) does is with a purpose.”