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Duclair, Blackhawks get what they wanted with trade

Forward needed change of scenery; Chicago adds youth, more speed on wings

by Tracey Myers @TraMyers_NHL / Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Anthony Duclair already was welcoming the opportunity he'll get with his new team. The locker room setup, which places his stall next to captain Jonathan Toews, was a bonus.

"That's pretty cool actually," Duclair said Friday. "I wasn't expecting that. It's going to be fun to get used to."


[RELATED: Duclair traded to Blackhawks by Coyotes for Panik]


Duclair, acquired by the Blackhawks in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday, will be in the lineup against the Winnipeg Jets at United Center on Friday (8:30 p.m. ET, NBCSCH, TSN3, NHL.TV). The 22-year-old left wing will be on the third line with center David Kampfand right wing Alex DeBrincat.

Video: Scott Powers discusses the Duclair-Panik trade

For Duclair, who had 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 33 games with the Coyotes, the trade was a welcome one.

"I just felt like I needed a change of scenery," he said. "It was a tough situation for myself and a couple other guys. At the same time, for myself, going into the future, I don't think it was a good fit for me. Now I'm here and I'm embracing the opportunity."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he's looking forward to seeing what Duclair can do.

"Great opportunity for him," he said. "He's excited to be here and he has a chance to be in a [Stanley Cup] Playoff race. We'll get to see how he looks in a couple of situations, but [we told him] just play to your strengths. We look forward to his speed and he has some good skill as well."

The Blackhawks are sixth in the Central Division with 48 points (21-16-6), seven points behind the third-place St. Louis Blues and two behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card from the Western Conference. 

Chicago is trying to climb the standings while trying to get younger. Forwards Vinnie Hinostroza (23), Ryan Hartman (23) and DeBrincat (20), and defenseman Jordan Oesterle (25) have become bigger contributors, and Duclair could be a part of that.

"We have 13 players who are 25 and under," general manager Stan Bowman said Wednesday. "I looked just last year, at this time I think we had four. So in a matter of a year we've been able to get considerably younger. But we're still a team that wants to win We're not playing for the future, but the game today is predicated on being able to skate. A lot of the guys we've brought in recently bring that element to their game and I think it really meshes well with the style Joel wants to play."

Video: NYR@ARI: Duclair rips home a power-play goal

It's been a busy few days for Duclair as he adjusts to the Blackhawks and jumps into a playoff race. There are a lot of changes, but he's welcoming them.

"I think it's going to be huge for me, especially just the way [the Blackhawks] play and watching them play over the years," he said. "They play with a lot of speed and skill, and I think that fits in to my strengths. Obviously we had a tough situation in Arizona [for a] couple years. These games are going to be meaningful games and I'm just ready to be in a playoff atmosphere. Every game counts. It's going to be fun to play in."

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