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Blackhawks get Nylander in trade with Sabres

Blackhawks get Nylander in trade with Sabres”

The Buffalo Sabres chose to improve their defensive depth on Tuesday by acquiring defenseman Henri Jokiharju from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Alexander Nylander.

The Swede, the eighth overall pick by the team's old regime in 2016, never showcased the tenacity to match his array of talents. At no point in the past three seasons has he done enough to earn a full-time roster spot in Buffalo, but he was beginning to trend upwards in the AHL, his 12-goal, 31-point effort in 49 games last season his best in three campaigns.

The Blackhawks drafted the 6-foot, 193-pound Jokiharju 29th overall in 2017.

A native of Oulu, Finland, Jokiharju made two appearances in worldwide tournaments for Finland in 2018-19, winning a gold medal at both the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2019 IIHF World Championship.

"Jokiharju (age 20, 6'0", 193 pounds) made his National Hockey League debut in 2018-19, posting 12 assists in 38 games for the Blackhawks. Jokiharju was solid with Chicago prior to the World Junior Championship over the winter, but was sent down to Rockford afterwards to get further seasoning. "His worldwide success last season only furthered his development and we are excited to add him to our current group of defensemen".

The Blackhawks struggled considerably on the defensive end last season, and might have rushed Jokiharju to some extent.

The 20-year-old Finn joins an already-deep Buffalo defense corps, which features Jake McCabe and Rasmus Dahlin on the top-4 right side.



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