NHL teams keep making big trades for big-money defensemen who carry some big questions. The latest involves the biggest name of them all. Multiple reports indicate that the Blackhawks didn’t just trade for Seth Jones from the Blue Jackets; they also reportedly agreed to sign Jones to a massive extension.
It took some time for the Seth Jones trade details to emerge, but the Blackhawks confirmed the details with their swap:
Welcome to Chicago, Seth Jones! pic.twitter.com/m4RZ6tQaCl
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 23, 2021
Blackhawks reportedly trade for Seth Jones, hand him huge extension
It appears that the Blackhawks also agreed to an extension with Seth Jones, though it will take time for that to become official.
Initially, reports indicated that the Blackhawks followed the Seth Jones trade with a seven-year extension worth $66.5M. Instead, the pact is even bolder. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports (and is backed up by Pierre LeBrun) that it’s an eight-year contract, so it would be worth $76M. Both Dreger and LeBrun note that the Blackhawks will need to wait until Wednesday to sign Seth Jones to that extension.
Jones, 26, is closing out the final year of a contract that carries a $5.4M AAV. So, Jones’ reported $9.5M cap hit will kick in starting in 2022-23.
Whatever the final details of the Seth Jones trade-and-extension end up being, this is a massive gamble by the Blackhawks.
On the other side, the Blue Jackets landed a masterful trade package considering that Seth Jones was entering a contract year, and made it clear he wasn’t sticking around. Between this trade, and maximizing the trade value for David Savard and Nick Foligno, Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen deserves kudos.
A trend of teams ignoring analytics, boldly going for defensemen
Again, there are a few themes to recent trades, especially on the day of the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
- Teams are spending big in trades to get defensemen with large contracts.
- In most cases, GMs are ignoring red flags about various defensemen having shaky “fancy stats.”
Rasmus Ristolainen ranks as a notorious case of a blueliner whose charts look lousy. After some great years, Oliver Ekman-Larsson‘s been brutal, too. Seth Jones (somewhat surprisingly) falls in that category, with his 2020-21 season being especially ugly.
Chicago gets Seth Jones, whose value depends on who you ask. His last season was Not Good, but he was a legitimate No. 1 D before that and still has potential to return to that level. pic.twitter.com/jTpfj2x6B4
— dom at the athletic (@domluszczyszyn) July 23, 2021
If the Blackhawks are right, then Seth Jones will be a cornerstone of their defense for almost a decade. If they’re wrong, then they invested a massive amount of money (and some nice futures) in someone whose production may never line up with the prettiness of his “eye test.”
We’ll see, but either way, it’s definitely exciting.
Blue Jackets trade for Jake Bean
The Blue Jackets turned around and traded the 44th pick to the Hurricanes for defenseman Jake Bean. So, they’re building for the future with Bean and Boqvist. Strong work.
The #Canes have acquired the 44th pick in this year's draft for D Jake Bean pic.twitter.com/akKEsm0Mdy
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) July 24, 2021