Blackhawks acquire three players, draft pick from Panthers
ROCKFORD — The Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday announced that they have acquired forward Henrik Borgström, forward Brett Connolly, defenseman Riley Stillman and a seventh-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Lucas Wallmark and defenseman Lucas Carlsson.
Connolly’s contract has a salary cap hit of $3,500,000 and is signed through the 2022-23 season. Stillman’s contract has a salary cap hit of $773,333 and is signed through the 2020-21 season. Connolly and Stillman will be assigned to Chicago’s taxi squad.
“We are receiving a very exciting, young player with a bright future in Henrik Borgstrom,” said Blackhawks President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Stan Bowman. “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.”
Borgström, a first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2016 National Hockey League Draft has 19 points (11G, 8A) in 27 games with HIFK in the Finnish Elite League.
He made his NHL debut on March 29, 2018 against the Ottawa Senators. Borgström registered his first career NHL goal on April 8, 2018 vs. Boston. Spanning parts of three seasons (2017-2020), he has played in 58 career regular-season games with the Panthers, recording nine goals and 10 helpers. The Helsinki, Finland native posted career highs in games played (50), goals (8), assists (10) and points (18) with the Panthers during the 2018-19 campaign.
The 23-year-old was selected to participate in the 2019 American Hockey League All-Star game and finished the season with 22 points (5G, 17A) in 24 regular-season games. He played collegiately at the University of Denver during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, where he was teammates with defenseman Ian Mitchell during the 2017-18 campaign. Borgström was named the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Player of the Year in 2017-18 and was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to college hockey’s best player. He led Denver and finished fourth in the NCAA in scoring with 52 points (23G, 29A). A 6-foot-3, 199-pound forward, Borgström helped Denver capture the 2017 National Championship and was named the NCHC Rookie of the year, finishing the season with 22 goals and 21 assists.
Connolly, a member of the 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, has notched four points (2G, 2A) this year with Florida. He scored his 100th career NHL goal on March vs. Detroit. The NHL veteran has played in 517 career-regular season games with Tampa Bay, Boston, Washington and Florida, tallying 192 career points (100G, 92A). Connolly has posted 11 points (8G, 3A) in 42 career postseason games.
The 28-year-old had career highs in games played (81), goals (22), assists (24) and points (46) during the 2018-19 season with the Capitals. A native of Campbell River, British Columbia, Connolly participated in the 2014 AHL All-Star Game. He represented Canada at back-to-back IIHF World Junior Championship’s in 2011 and 2012.
Stillman, 23, has skated in eight games with Florida this season. He logged a career-high five helpers in 34 games with the Panthers last year. Stillman also skated in three postseason games during last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Peterborough, Ontario native made his NHL debut on Feb 26, 2019 at Arizona.
A fourth-round pick (114th overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft of the Panthers, Stillman has 26 points (7G, 19A) in 89-career AHL games. He was a 2018 Ontario Hockey League champion with the Hamilton Bulldogs, where he was teammates with forward MacKenzie Entwistle. Stillman five goals and nine helpers in 21 OHL postseason games that year.
Carlsson recorded two assists in 18 career regular-season games with the Blackhawks. He skated in his first career NHL playoff game during last year’s postseason. The Gavle, Sweden native had 62 points (15G, 47A) in 124 career games with the IceHogs.
Wallmark had three helpers in 16 games with Chicago this year.
The Chicago Blackhawks play the Dallas Stars tonight at 7 p.m. CT at the United Center.