Just 30 minutes before they were to take the ice in Edmonton the Chicago Blackhawks completed a trade that sent Jack Skille to the Florida Panthers. Along with Skille the Hawks send a pair of wingers, Hugh Jessimore and David Pacan. In exchange for the trio the Hawks receive center Michael Frolik and goalie Alexander Salak who is playing in the Swedish league.
Before we look at who the Hawks added let's take a closer look at who they are giving up.
Jack Skille in his first full season with the Hawks has been a bit of a disappointment. He was the Hawks first round pick in 2005 and 7th overall. In his 49 games he has played in this season he only managed 7 goals and 10 assists playing mostly on the 4th line but did see time on the top 2 lines due to injuries. He might benefit greatly from a change of scenery and also it won't hurt having the backing of the GM that drafted you 7th overall in 2005.
Hugh Jessimore, 26, is in his first season in the Hawks organization. Originally drafted by his hometown New York Rangers hasn't done much in his 25 games with the Rockford Icehogs of the AHL. He has managed 3 goals and 2 assists and is a -4. In those 25 games he does have 27 penalty minutes. His 6'6 frame is probably what the Panthers like best about him.
David Pacan, 19, was drafted by the Hawks in the 6th round of the 2009 draft. This past fall after he was kicked off his hockey team at the University of Vermont. Pacan, a center, is another big body standing at 6'2. He had 7 goals and 7 assists playing in 39 games his freshman year. Probably no big loss as he was expected to play all 4 years of college hockey therefore was years away from helping the team.
Ok so now who are these two guys the Hawks got in this 5 player deal?
Michael Frolik is the guy you will be seeing immedatily. Frolik, 22, is in his third full season in the NHL. He has topped 40 points in his first 2 seasons and is well on his way to doing it again this year.He scored 21 goals each the first two years and while his scoring has dropped off this season his assists have stayed up. He has 29 points so far with 8 goals and 21 assists. Frolik's role is unknown yet but my hope is that he will slide right in and center the Hossa line. He was the Panthers first round pick in 2006 and was selected 10th overall.
The second player the Hawks got from the Panther is 24 year old goalie Alexander Salak who is playing very well in the Swedish League currently. Salak had signed with Florida in May of 2009 and played the 2009-2010 season for their AHL team. He played in 48 games going 29-14 with a save percentage of 91% and allowed 2.89 goals per game. This season he was loaned Färjestad BK of the Swedish Elite League and has played very well.
My feeling is this trade helps the Hawks right away. Frolik is a versatile forward who can play wing or center and is a proven player unlike Jack Skille. My feeling is Skille was a little too much in the mold of Parick Kane and Versteeger but isn't as talented as either. He was always looking for his shot and always seemed to be pressing. Listening to Dale Tallon talk about him makes me wonder when the last time he saw him play because big and physical is not how Skille ever played for the Hawks. I wish him well but am very happy to see him go and look forward to seeing what Frolik can do with some talent around him. It is possible the Hawks might have found a gem here.