Duncan Keith was traded to the Edmonton Oilers by the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday for Caleb Jones and a conditional pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Edmonton will also receive minor league forward Tim Soderlund.
Keith, who turns 38 on Friday, has two seasons remaining on a 13-year, $72 million contract ($5.5 million average annual value) he signed Dec. 3, 2009.
A three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Blackhawks (2010, 2013 and 2015), Keith was awarded the 2015 Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He also won the Norris Trophy voted as the best defenseman in the NHL in 2010 and 2014, has twice been named to the NHL First All-Star Team (also in 2010 and 2014), and helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Sochi Olympics.
As a result, during the NHL’s Centennial season in 2017, Keith was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players.
“Duncan Keith was the ultimate professional with the Chicago Blackhawks,” Chicago general manager Stan Bowman said. “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.”
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This season, Keith scored 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 54 games for the Blackhawks (24-25-7), who did not qualify for the postseason for the third time in four seasons after finishing sixth in the Discover Central Division.
Selected by Chicago in the second round (No. 54) of the 2002 NHL Draft, Keith has scored 625 points (105 goals, 520 assists) in 1,192 regular-season games and 86 points (18 goals, 68 assists) in 135 postseason games. He is second in Blackhawks history in games played, sixth in assists and 10th in points.
The Oilers (35-19-2) finished second in the Scotia North Division this season but were swept by the Winnipeg Jets in the Stanley Cup First Round, losing the final three games of the best-of-7 series in overtime. They signed forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who could have become an unrestricted free agent July 28, to an eight-year, $41 million contract ($5.125 million average annual value) on June 29.
Edmonton improved a bit defensively this season, allowing fewer than 3.00 goals per game (2.75, tied for 11th in the NHL) for the first time since 2016-17, but was 21st in the League in goals allowed at 5-on-5 (116) and shots against per game (30.7).
Jones, a 24-year-old defenseman, had four assists in 33 games this season and has scored 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in 93 NHL games, all for the Oilers. He is the brother is Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones.
“Caleb Jones is a smooth skating, versatile defenseman who brings a well-rounded game to the Blackhawks,” Bowman said. “Caleb transitions the puck nicely with his legs or through outlet passes. 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.”
Soderlund, a 23-year-old center, split this season between his native Sweden and the United States. He scored 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in 23 games for Almtuna IS of HockeyAllsvenskan, and had five assists in 23 games for Rockford of the American Hockey League.
The draft pick Chicago will receive will become a second-round pick if Edmonton makes the 2022 Stanley Cup Final and Keith is among the top-four defensemen on the Oilers in time on ice during the first three rounds of the playoffs.