With the trade deadline less than an hour away, the Chicago Blackhawks have traded for Winnipeg defenseman Johnny Oduya. In return, the Jets will receive two draft picks in 2013, a second and a third rounder.
Oduya, 30, a five-year veteran in the league, has recorded 13 points (2 G, 11 A) in 63 games for Winnipeg and has a rating of -9. He currently makes $3.5M and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. The 'Hawks will incur a cap hit of $776,000 and still have about $3.7M to work with as they're still actively trying to add depth at center.
This move comes at no surprise for a team that has been struggling defensively. Oduya is a good skater that will handle the puck and gain the offensive zone, similarly to the role Brian Campbell did so well for the 'Hawks, but to a lesser extent.
He's not going to be a savior and shouldn't viewed as such. Oduya will be a nice fit on the third defensive pairing and hopefully take some pressure off of Nick Leddy by logging more minutes than the previous combinations at third pair. Expect to see him help on the penalty kill unit which ranks near the bottom of the NHL.
It's likely that the Blackhawks will be looking to add another piece or two, especially with so much cap space still to spend. Look for them to try and land a center or maybe another blue-liner.
Who doesn't love deadline day?
Steve Peters is a staff writer for NHLfanchat.com. Follow on twitter: @stevepeters_