Blackhawks trade Duncan Keith to Edmonton

Blackhawks

Duncan Keith #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks clears the puck against the San Jose Sharks at the United Center on March 11, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded veteran defenseman Duncan Keith and forward Tim Soderlund to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Caleb Jones and a conditional third-round pick in the 2022 National Hockey League Draft. The trade, which had been reported by various media for several hours this afternoon, was confirmed in a team statement released this evening:

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS ANNOUNCE TRADE WITH EDMONTON OILERS

The Chicago Blackhawks today announced that they have acquired defenseman Caleb Jones and a conditional third-round pick in the 2022 National Hockey League Draft from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Duncan Keith and forward Tim Soderlund. Jones’ contract has a salary cap hit of $850,000 and is signed through the 2021-22 season.

The 2022 draft pick will become a second-round pick if Edmonton wins three rounds in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs and Duncan Keith is amongst the top four Edmonton Oilers defenseman in total time on ice during the first three rounds of the postseason.

Keith, a three-time Stanley Cup champion, 2015 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, two-time Norris Trophy recipient and four-time National Hockey League All Star was second in Blackhawks history in games played (1,192). He is one of just four Chicago blueliners in franchise history to eclipse the 100-goal plateau and his 520 assists and 625 points trail only Doug Wilson among defensemen in club history.

Originally drafted by the Blackhawks in the second round (54th overall) of the 2002 NHL Draft, Keith paced Chicago in average time on ice in all 16 seasons with the team. Keith recorded the Stanley Cup-clinching goal in Game 6 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final and recorded 86 points (18G, 68A) in 135 career postseason contests.

“Duncan Keith was the ultimate professional with the Chicago Blackhawks,” said Stan Bowman, Chicago Blackhawks President of Hockey Operations and General Manager. “His toughness on the ice, his leadership in the community and his dedication to the game are a few of the reasons the Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups during his 16-year career with Chicago. He will go down as one of the best and most driven defensemen this game has ever seen. Recently, Duncan came to us with a request to be traded to a team closer to his son and we were happy to work something out that was mutually beneficial for Duncan’s family and the future of the Blackhawks. We appreciate all he has contributed to our team and the City of Chicago and his legacy will always be celebrated.”

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Keith created “Keith Relief” in 2011, which is dedicated to alleviating the financial and emotional burdens of families and individuals from medial crises. As a partner to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, Keith Relief sponsors a special transplant floor dedicated to pediatric transplant patients and their families at Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s, the nation’s largest Ronald McDonald House in downtown Chicago.

In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Keith championed food delivery efforts to medical personnel and first responders.

Jones, 24, recorded four assists in 33 regular-season games with the Edmonton Oilers during the 2020-21 season. He picked up National Hockey League career highs in games played (43), goals (4), points (9) and matched a single season best in assists (5) during the 2019-20 campaign. Jones also appeared in two 2020 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

“Caleb Jones is a smooth skating, versatile defenseman who brings a well-rounded game to the Blackhawks. Caleb transitions the puck nicely with his legs or through outlet passes,” added Bowman. “He brings some size to our group, and we believe his best hockey is in front of him. While he is still young, we see his 93 games of NHL experience as an asset to help our other young defensemen adjust to the NHL.”

The Arlington, Texas native made his NHL debut on Dec. 14, 2018 vs. Philadelphia. Jones registered a goal and five helpers during the 2018-19 season. Spanning parts of four seasons (2016-19) with the Bakersfield Condors, Jones had 57 points (11G, 46A) in 125 regular-season games. He added three assists in 10 Calder Cup postseason contests. 

Originally selected by the Oilers in the fourth round (117th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft, Jones played for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League from 2015-17. His 53 assists were fourth and his 62 points were sixth among WHL defensemen during the 2016-17 season. He led WHL rookies with 45 helpers during the 2015-16 season.

On the international stage, Jones helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship. He finished the tournament with two assists in seven games. Jones also won gold at the 2015 IIHF U-18 World Junior Championship.

His brother, Seth, is a four-time NHL All-Star and has recorded 286 points (65G, 221A) across 580 career regular-season games. Their dad, Popeye, is currently an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers and played parts of 11 seasons in the National Basketball Association.  Soderlund was drafted by the Blackhawks in the 2017 NHL Draft and tallied eight points (1G, 7A) in 52 games with the Rockford IceHogs.

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