Six years after helping the Chicago Blackhawks end their long Stanley Cup drought, Andrew Ladd is heading back to the Windy City.
The Winnipeg Jets dealt their captain to Chicago for prospect Marko Dano, a first-round pick in 2016, and a conditional pick in 2018. The Jets also added defenseman Jay Harrison and right winger Matt Fraser to the deal, but they will head to Chicago's AHL affiliate in Rockford.
TSN's Darren Dreger broke the news.
While the final destination was not know, the writing had been on the wall for a Ladd deal for some time. The Jets, coming off a surprise playoff berth in 2014-15, entered this season with two prominent pending unrestricted free agents -- Ladd, and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. The Jets signed Byfuglien to a five-year, $38 million extension two weeks ago. Add in needing to sign promising 21-year-old RFA defenseman Jacob Trouba, and it became clear there wouldn't be room left to sign Ladd. But knowing that, the Jets did well to get a prospect and a low first-round pick.
Ladd, 30, is seeking a raise from the $4.5 million he is earning this year. He likely won't be anything more than a rental for the Blackhawks as they chase their fourth Stanley Cup in six years. The Blackhawks were able to make a signifcant move because the Jets are retaining 36 percent of Ladd's salary.
Ladd has 17 goals and 17 assists in 59 games this year. But in Chicago, he will ride shotgun on one of the top two lines on one of the best teams in the league. Having him on Jonathan Toews' left wing will be a bonus for everyone involved.
In Dano, the Jets get another top prospect to add their stable of impressive up-and-coming youngsters. Dano has 23 points in 34 AHL games this season, and also has 23 points in 48 NHL games, split between Chicago and the Blue Jackets, who originally drafted him 27th overall in 2013. The Blackhawks acquired Dano in last summer's Brandon Saad trade.
The first round pick this season will very likely come between Nos. 25-and-30. The conditional pick is a third rounder in 2018, with the condition being the Blackhawks win the Cup this year.
Ladd spent two-plus seasons in Chicago from 2008 to 2010. He played in 19 games during their Stanley Cup run in 2010, scoring six points. He was traded that summer to the Atlanta Thrashers.
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