Tuesday, July 9, 2019
NHL Trade review: Sabres acquire Jokijarju
The Buffalo Sabres have acquired D Henri Jokijarju from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for F Alex Nylander.
I love this trade for the Sabres. Nylander has been a bust since being drafted 8th overall in 2016. Jokijarju got some NHL experience this past season, and is a budding defenseman. The Sabres have too many right handed defensemen, and Jokijarju adds to that. Rasmus Ristolainen will likely be traded, the team could bury the final year of Zach Bogosian's deal, and Jokijarju could go to the AHL. Colin Miller, Brandon Montour and Casey Nelson are also options, though they are likely starters.
Jokijarju, 20, debuted in 2018-19, scoring 12 points, all assists, in 38 games. He was drafted 29th overall in 2017.
The Blackhawks have made many changes to their defense, but I still think Jokijarju could have made the team. Nylander hasn't lived up to expectations, and has struggled in the AHL. Like Dylan Strome, Nylander can be another high pick turned around in Chicago, but it doesn't look good for them at the moment.
Nylander, 21, scored two goals with two assists in 12 games this past season. In his NHL career, he has scored three goals with three assists for six points in 19 games.