The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Calvin de Haan and forward Aleksi Saarela (SAH-reh-lah) from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for goaltender Anton Forsberg and defenseman Gustav Forsling.
De Haan’s contract has an AAV of $4,550,000 and is signed through the 2021-22 season and Saarela’s contract has an AAV of $902,500 and is signed through the 2019-20 season.
De Haan tallied a goal and 13 assists in 74 regular-season games with the Hurricanes last season. He also helped Carolina to the Eastern Conference Finals, notching one goal in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The Carp, Ontario native was originally drafted in the first round (12th overall) of the 2009 National Hockey League Draft by the New York Islanders. He spent six seasons with the Islanders (2011-12; 2013-18), recording 81 points (12G, 69A) in 304 regular-season games and three assists in 16 playoff tilts. De Haan, 28, notched career highs in goals (5), assists (20), points (25) and games played (82) for New York during the 2016-17 season. In seven seasons with Carolina and the New York Islanders, de Haan has recorded 95 points (13G, 82A) in 378 career NHL regular-season contests.
Saarela, 22, helped the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League to the 2019 Calder Cup Championship last season. The forward set career-highs in goals (30), assists (24) and points (54) in 69 regular-season games with Charlotte. His 30 goals paced the team while his 54 points ranked second among Checkers skaters during the regular season. He also tallied 15 points (7G, 8A) in 17 Calder Cup Playoff games and skated in one Stanley Cup Playoff game with the Hurricanes during the 2018-19 season.
A native of Helsinki, Finland, Saarela was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in the third round (89th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft. In 147 career regular-season AHL games with Charlotte (2016-19), he’s recorded 107 points (61G, 46A). The Blackhawks drafted his brother, Antti, in the fourth round (123rd overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft.
Forsberg appeared in 35 games with Chicago, tallying a 10-16-4 record with a 2.97 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage during the 2017-18 season. He spent last season with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL, where he went 15-15-2 with a 2.64 GAA and a .919 SV%. Forsling skated in 122 games over three seasons with the Blackhawks (2016-19), notching 27 points (8G, 19A).