Duncan Keith traded for Caleb Jones
(Photo Credit: NHL.com)

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded veteran defenseman Duncan Keith.

According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the Hawks have traded Duncan Keith to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Caleb Jones and a mid-round draft pick. The final details are still being ironed out.

TSN’s Pierre Lebrun later reported that the full trade is Duncan Keith and Tim Soderlund for Caleb Jones and a 2022 third-round pick. The 2022 pick will become a second-round pick if Edmonton wins three rounds in the 2022 playoffs and Keith is amongst the top-4 in Oilers defenseman time on ice during the first three rounds.

Keith is a three-time Stanley Cup champion and two-time Norris Trophy winner. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff MVP in 2014-15. The 37-year-old blueliner recorded four goals and 15 points in 54 games for Chicago in 2020-21.

Jones was drafted by the Oilers in the fourth round (No. 117) of the 2015 NHL Draft. He’s the younger brother of Columbus Blue Jackets blueliner Seth Jones. The 24-year-old defenseman has appeared in 93 games for the Oilers, recording five goals and 19 points.


Analysis

For Edmonton:

It’s clear Keith is no longer the defenseman he was once. His play has been declining over the last several years, which made him expendable. He’s still a workhorse, however, and will provide veteran leadership to a young Oilers team. Keith averaged 23:25 of ice time in 2020-21, including 2:27 of power-play time. Keith won’t need to be a top-pairing guy in Edmonton, considering the Oilers have Darnell Nurse and Tyson Barrie. With less minutes at his age, Keith could be more effective. The problem is Keith carries a $5.5M cap hit for the next two years.

For Chicago: 

Chicago appears to win this trade considering they’ve been wanting to move Keith. They don’t retain any salary in the deal, which is important for their salary cap. The Blackhawks are still losing a top defenseman with great leadership attributes. The positive is young defenseman like Adam Boqvist are ready for increased roles. Chicago is also reportedly interested in Seth Jones, so acquiring his younger brother couldn’t hurt their chances of winning those sweepstakes.