Golden Knights Should Target These 3 Blackhawks in Trades

Thursday night’s tilt between the Vegas Golden Knights and Chicago Blackhawks represents a study of opposites. The Golden Knights are the best team in the Western Conference, while the Blackhawks hold a narrow, one-point edge on the Anaheim Ducks to remain out of the West’s basement. The two clubs are separated by 25 points and have two very clear, contrasting directions ahead of them.

Two teams headed in opposite directions don’t make for a compelling rivalry, but it does present the possibility of trade partners, and when you get past Chicago’s two very large and complicated expiring contract trade chips – franchise pillars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews – they have some assets that might interest the Golden Knights, not to mention fit their need for forward depth.

In honor of tonight’s match-up, here’s a look at three Blackhawks forwards that would make a lot of sense for Vegas to acquire:

Andreas Athanasiou

Team speed has been a critical component of the Golden Knights’ early success, so why not double down? Andreas Athanasiou’s game is built on speed, making him a potential fit on any of the team’s top three lines. The 28-year-old is currently in the midst of a slump that has seen him score just once in his last 10 games, but taking him away from the league’s lowest-scoring team and putting him on one of its highest could help reignite an aggressive and effective scoring form that produced 30 goals just four years ago.

Andreas Athanasiou Chicago Blackhawks
Andreas Athanasiou, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The chief concern with Athanasiou is injuries. He only played 28 games last season due to a myriad of injuries, as well as a COVID bout. But it’s been a different story this year, where he has almost matched his total games played from 2021-22, having missed just one to tend to a personal matter. Vegas would surely like to see more than six goals from the Woodbridge, Ontario native, but betting on a player with proven speed and shooting abilities in a better offensive environment could be worth some middling assets and taking on a $3 million cap hit.

Max Domi

Though they are very different players, the situation with Max Domi is similar to Athanasiou’s. Both players were signed to the same one-year, $3 million contract with the idea that they could offer some production while showcasing themselves for a possible deal at or before the trade deadline. To date, this has worked out better for Domi.

Latest News & Highlights

The Blackhawks have largely used Domi as their no. 1 center alongside Kane, an area that the 27-year-old almost certainly wouldn’t fill in Vegas. It has, however, demonstrated his versatility in being able to play both up and down the lineup and across multiple forward positions after serving at left wing for the Columbus Blue Jackets. It’s also produced 10 goals and 10 assists, good for first on the team in goals and second in points. While the cost for Domi would probably come slightly higher based on production, his versatility, scoring ability, and grit could make a move worthwhile.

You Might Also Like

Jason Dickinson

If the Golden Knights are seeking a little more term and would prefer not to take on an expiring contract, Jason Dickinson might be a player of interest. With Athanasiou and Domi, the focus was primarily on offensive upside. Dickinson, however, would represent a boost in the two-way game to a team that currently ranks among the league’s top-third in goals for but in the middle of the pack in goals allowed.

Jason Dickinson Chicago Blackhawks
Jason Dickinson, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The 27-year-old Dickinson, who was one of the top forwards in the league last season at suppressing opponents’ scoring chances, was essentially a throw-in on a deal that saw the Blackhawks send Corey Stillman to the Vancouver Canucks for a second-round pick. And yet, his skill set still holds considerable value, particularly to a team with aspirations for a deep playoff run. Dickinson could look good amongst a bottom-six that also features ornery players like William Carrier and Keegan Kolesar, especially at a $2.65 million cap hit for the next two years.

With so much parity across the NHL and so few clubs in seller mode, the Blackhawks present the rare organization that is clearly looking to the future rather than hoping to win now. In that sense, it’s worth looking at tonight’s tilt through the eyes of a scout: who could fit a need and present an upgrade in Vegas. General manager Kelly McCrimmon will certainly be keeping an eye on this one.

Sign up for our regular 'Golden Knights Newsletter' for all the latest.