SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) — Seth Jones is going to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Chicago acquired the star defenseman from the Columbus Blue Jackets before the NHL draft began Friday, according to three people with knowledge of the move.
Jones also has agreed to terms on a $76 million, eight-year contract extension that carries an annual salary cap hit of $9.5 million. He has one year left on his current contract and cannot sign the extension until free agency opens Wednesday.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because the trade had been agreed to but the call not completed yet. It was not immediately clear what Chicago gave up to get the 26-year-old who could become cornerstone of the franchise's blue line for years to come.
The trade was the fourth of the day and second blockbuster.
The Arizona Coyotes pulled off the other, sending captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland to the Vancouver Canucks for the No. 9 selection, a 2022 second-round pick, 2023 seventh-rounder and three veteran forwards.
The St. Louis Blues also acquired high-scoring forward Pavel Buchnevich from the New York Rangers for Sammy Blais and a 2022 second-round pick. Earlier in the day, the Philadelphia Flyers traded the 14th pick and a 2023 second-rounder to the Buffalo Sabres for big defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.
“He’s a player we’ve been looking at the last three years,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said of Ristolainen. "He can shoot the puck, he can skate, he’s big and strong.”
While the Flyers paid a hefty price for a sought-after player in Ristolainen who has one year left on his contract, the Canucks acquired a defenseman in Ekman-Larsson who's signed for six more years at a salary-cap hit of $8.25 million. Garland is a restricted free agent in need of a new deal, and Arizona had been shopping him and Ekman-Larsson for some time.
“(Ekman-Larsson) is a tremendous player and person, and we wish him and Conor the best of luck in the future,” Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said. “We are very pleased to acquire the ninth overall draft choice in this year’s NHL draft along with Loui, Antoine and Jay."
Arizona is retaining a portion of Ekman-Larsson's salary and took on Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle and Loui Eriksson — all set to be free agents after next season — to add another draft pick. The Coyotes forfeited their first-round pick this year, 11th overall, for testing players in violation of NHL combine policy.
After a handful of trades Thursday when the roster freeze was lifted, Philadelphia and Buffalo kicked off the movement Friday with the trade of Ristolainen, who said he “knew something might happen this offseason, this weekend.”
Not so much for Buchnevich, who was fourth in scoring for the Rangers and looked like a piece of their young core. But new president and general manager Chris Drury dealt the 26-year-old to St. Louis to add a second Stanley Cup champion in a week after trading for gritty forward Barclay Goodrow, who won back-to-back with Tampa Bay.
On the signing front, the Boston Bruins locked up Taylor Hall with a $24 million, four-year contract. Hall will count $6 million against the salary cap through the 2024-25 season. Buffalo dealt Hall to Boston at the trade deadline and he fit in perfectly as a complementary forward on the second line.
Also, the Montreal Canadiens said goalie Carey Price had knee surgery and is expected to be out 10-12 weeks. The team expects Price, who went unselected by Seattle in the expansion draft more because of his contract than his uncertain injury status, to be ready for the start of the regular season in mid-October.