Blackhawks acquire Taylor Hall in multiplayer trade with Bruins
Chicago — Taylor Hall knows a lot about being the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft.
That should come in handy for Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Hall was traded from Boston to Chicago on Monday, clearing some valuable cap space for the Bruins and giving the Blackhawks a veteran winger to pair with Bedard after they take the young center at the top of the draft on Wednesday night as expected.
The Blackhawks sent pending restricted free agents Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula to Boston for Hall and the expiring contract of Nick Foligno.
“We are thrilled to be adding players of Nick’s and Taylor’s caliber to our organization,” Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said in a release. “The two bring a wealth of experience and leadership that will strengthen not only our forward group, but aid in the development of our entire roster.”
The 31-year-old Hall had 16 goals and 20 assists in 61 games last season. He also had five goals and three assists in seven playoff games. The Bruins set NHL records for most wins and points in a regular season, but they were upset by Florida in the first round of the playoffs.
Hall was selected by Edmonton with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft. He has 264 goals and 429 assists in 13 seasons with Edmonton, New Jersey, Boston, Arizona and Buffalo.
Hall was with the Oilers when they took Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), Nail Yakupov (2012) and Connor McDavid (2015) with the No. 1 pick. He was playing for the Devils when they took Nico Hischier (2017) and Jack Hughes (2019) at No. 1.
Chicago is expected to take Bedard with this year's No. 1 pick. He could be joined on the team’s top line by Hall, giving him some valuable experience to lean on.
Hall counts $6 million against the salary cap over the next two seasons. But rebuilding Chicago is more concerned with the floor than the ceiling when it comes to the cap at the moment. The Blackhawks were not on Hall's no-trade list, so the Bruins could make the trade without his consent.
Foligno, 35, had 10 goals and 16 assists in 60 games last season. Given its financial situation, Chicago could try to convince him to skip free agency with a short-term contract for above market value.
Shedding salary could allow Boston to re-sign winger Tyler Bertuzzi, who was a great fit after he was acquired at the trade deadline from Detroit. Bertuzzi had 16 points in 21 regular-season games and then 10 points in seven games in the first round.
The Blackhawks are well-stocked when it comes to defense prospects, and Mitchell and Regula were never quite able to find regular time in the NHL lineup.
The 24-year-old Mitchell, a second-round pick in 2017, has four goals and 12 assists in 82 games over three seasons. Regula, 22, a third-rounder in 2018, has one goal in 22 career NHL appearances.
Boston could decide against tendering a qualifying offer to either player and put that money toward retaining Bertuzzi and adding other players in free agency.
In a minor league swap of restricted free agents, the Bruins sent forward Shane Bowers to New Jersey for defenseman Reilly Walsh.
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