The Blackhawks have acquired forward Brett Connolly, defenseman Riley Stillman, the rights to forward prospect Henrik Borgstrom and a seventh-round pick in 2021 from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Lucas Wallmark and defenseman Lucas Carlsson, the team announced Thursday. Connolly and Stillman will be assigned to the taxi squad.
“We are receiving a very exciting, young player with a bright future in Henrik Borgstrom,” Blackhawks president of hockey operations and general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He is a high-end talent and we think he has the ability to be a big time player for us. We also add to our forward depth with an experienced veteran in Brett Connolly and a physical defenseman in Riley Stillman. Connolly is a proven goal scorer and adds some versatility to our front line while Stillman is a young, physical defenseman whose aggressive style brings a different element to our defense.”
Connolly, 28, has four points (two goals, two assists) in 22 games this season. His contract carries a $3.5 million cap hit and expires at the end of the 2022-23 season.
Stillman, 23, has appeared in only eight games this season and is averaging 10:43 of ice time. He’s set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season and has a cap hit of $773,333.
Borgstrom, 23, has 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 27 games for HIFK of Liiga, which is Finland’s top league. He was drafted No. 23 overall in 2016 and racked up 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 58 games across three seasons from 2017-20 for the Panthers before heading back to Europe.
The Blackhawks had north of $20 million in cap space and used it to take on Connolly’s contract while receiving potential future assets in Borgstrom, Stillman and a draft pick, and did so without giving up much in return. The motivation for the Panthers was to free up cap space, and they did that by clearing more than $3.5 million from their books.
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