The Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Blackhawks became trade partners again Wednesday in a deal that brought forwards Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell to the Canes.
The Hurricanes, in exchange, traded a 2016 second-round draft pick and 2017 third-round pick to the Blackhawks.
Last fall, the Blackhawks, caught in a salary-cap squeeze, traded forwards Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom to the Canes in a Sept. 11 deal. This year’s trade allowed Chicago to shed Bickell’s $4 million cap hit and give the Blackhawks some needed cap space.
But the price of moving Bickell included the Blackhawks giving up Teravainen, a former first-round draft pick from Finland who is 21 and capable of playing all three forward positions.
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Like Versteeg and Nordstrom, Teravainen and Bickell come to the Canes having won Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks. Teravainen won with Chicago in 2015, and Bickell was a part of Chicago’s Cup champions in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
“We’re excited about the deal,” Canes general manager Ron Francis said Wednesday. “It’s not often a player who was a first-round draft pick like Teuvo, at his age and with his skill, becomes available in a deal. We think he will be a very good addition, skill-wise, to our team. He has a lot of upside.
“Bryan Bickell has shown in the past he can play at an elite level. At 6-4 and 230 pounds, he also gives us some added size. Both players have won Cups and know what it takes to win, and that should help, especially with the young group we have.”
Teravainen, a Helsinki native, scored 13 goals and had 22 assists in 78 games with the Blackhawks in 2015-16, his first full NHL season. His first pro season was split between the Blackhawks and the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s American Hockey League affiliate.
Teravainen, listed at 5-11 and 178 pounds, had 10 points in 18 playoff games during the Blackhawks’ 2015 run to the Cup. He became the fifth rookie since 1927 to score a goal in each of his first two games in the Stanley Cup Final against Tampa Bay.
Chicago drafted Teravainen in the first round, 18th overall, in the 2012 NHL draft, and he will be entering the final year of his entry-level contract.
“He’s got a lot of skill, lot of ability and lot of potential,” Bickell said of Teravainen. “In Chicago, it’s tough because there are so many stars. For him to get a new start with a young team, he’s going to be good. He can make plays happen out of nothing. He’s a real offensive threat on the ice.”
The Canes expect forward Sebastian Aho of Finland to compete for a roster spot this season, and Teravainen would give Aho another Finn in the locker room.
“It never hurts, with a young guy like Sebastian, to have someone who has been in the league to help him out,” Francis said.
Bickell, 30, was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2004 and played 384 regular-season and 75 playoff games for Chicago.
After scoring nine postseason goals in 2013, he was given a four-year, $16 million extension. Bickell then had seven playoff goals in 19 games in 2014 but was bothered by an eye condition he believed might have been caused by vertigo in the 2015 playoffs.
He spent the 2015-16 season bouncing between the Blackhawks and AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, playing 25 NHL games.
“Last year was a tough year,” Bickell said. “But I feel fine. But to move and get a fresh start, to try and help a young team get to the playoffs, that’s exciting. I really think my experience can help this team.”