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Blue Jackets acquire forward Brandon Saad from the Chicago Blackhawks

by BlueJackets.com Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired left wing Brandon Saad, defenseman Michael Paliotta and center Alex Broadhurst from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

PHOTOS: Brandon Saad

Saad, 22, has registered 52 goals and 74 assists for 126 points with 44 penalty minutes and a +44 plus/minus rating in 208 career NHL games and added 15-19-34, 16 penalty minutes and is +16 in 67 career playoff games, helping Chicago win a pair of Stanley Cup championships in 2013 and 2015.

“We’re very excited to bring Brandon Saad, a 22-year old two-time Stanley Cup champion with great size, speed, power and the ability to score goals, to our organization,” said Kekalainen. “He is a proven winner and exactly the kind of player we want as a Columbus Blue Jacket.”

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native was Chicago’s fourth pick, 43rd overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft. Last season, Saad collected 23-29-52, 12 penalty minutes and a +12 plus/minus rating in 82 games, ranking third on the club in goals and fourth in points, while his six game-winning goals was second to the seven scored by Jonathan Toews. He added 8-3-11 in 23 playoff games to help the Blackhawks win their second Stanley Cup title in three seasons.

In 2013-14, Saad notched 19-28-47, 20 penalty minutes and was +20 in 78 games and added 6-10-16 in 19 playoff outings. In 2012-13, he picked up 10-17-27, 12 penalty minutes and was +17 in 46 games, leading all NHL rookies in plus/minus rating and ranking third in assists and fifth in points en route to being named to the NHL All-Rookie Team.

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Saad spent two seasons with the United States National Development Program from 2008-10 before joining the Ontario Hockey League’s Saginaw Spirit. In two seasons, he collected 61-70-131, 85 penalty minutes and was +43 in 103 career OHL games from 2010-12. He earned OHL First All-Star Team honors in 2011-12 when he racked up 34-42-76, 38 penalty minutes and was +35 in 44 games. He also collected 1-5-6 in six games for Team USA at the 2012 World Junior Championship and won a gold medal at the 2010 U18 World Junior Championship.

Paliotta, 22, was Chicago’s fifth pick, 70th overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft. He spent the past four years at the University of Vermont (Hockey East), where he registered 19-64-83 and 185 penalty minutes in 144 games. In 2014-15, he served as the team captain and set career highs for goals, assists and points with 9-27-36, 40 penalty minutes and a +15 plus/minus rating in 41 games to become the first UVM defenseman to lead the team in scoring since 1978. He earned Second Team All-American honors, was named to the All-Hockey East First Team by the Hockey East Writers and Broadcasters Association, was a Hockey East Second Team All-Star, earned the league’s Best Defensive Defenseman Award, won the Bob Monahan Award as the Best Defenseman in New England and earned All-New England honors.

The 6-3, 207-pound native of Westport, Connecticut made his NHL debut at the end of the season, collecting an assist in his lone game with Chicago on April 11 at Colorado. Prior to joining Vermont, Paliotta spent two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program from 2009-11.

Broadhurst, 22, was Chicago’s 10th pick, 199th overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft. He spent the past two seasons with the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs, where he has tallied 22-37-59 and 36 penalty minutes with a +1 plus/minus rating in 104 games. Last season, he notched 6-8-14, four penalty minutes and was +2 in 29 outings.

A native of Orland Park, Illinois, Broadhurst played one season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, collecting 23-40-63 and 36 penalty minutes in 65 games and adding 10-18-28 and 22 penalty minutes in 21 playoff games in 2012-13 as the Knights won the OHL championship and advanced to the Memorial Cup Tournament. He spent the previous two seasons with Green Bay of the United States Hockey League and was a USHL First All-Star Team selection after racking up 26-47-73 and 40 penalty minutes in 53 games in 2011-12.

“Michael Paliotta had an outstanding season at Vermont last year. He has good size and puck skills and will provide depth on defense and have a chance to compete for a spot on our team,” said Kekalainen. “Alex battled some injuries last year, but he is a skilled player and will add to our organization depth at the center position.”

Anisimov tallied 40-44-84 and 40 penalty minutes in 168 career games with the Blue Jackets, including 7-20-27 in 52 games in 2014-15, since joining the club prior to the 2012-13 season as part of the trade that sent Rick Nash to the New York Rangers. Dano was Columbus’ third pick, 27th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft. He tallied 8-13-21 and 14 penalty minutes in 35 games with the club as a rookie last season. Tropp was claimed off waivers from Buffalo on Nov. 28, 2013 and picked up 3-15-18 and 113 penalty minutes in 105 games with Columbus over the past two seasons. Morin was acquired by the Blue Jackets from Chicago in exchange for defenseman Tim Erixon last season. He tallied 2-4-6 and 13 penalty minutes in 28 games as a Blue Jacket.

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