Who is Henri Jokiharju?
Jokiharju was drafted 29th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2017 NHL Entry Level Draft. The right-handed shot scored 0 goals, 12 assists for 12 points in 38 games for his rookie season in the NHL. Jokiharju is regarded as a very mobile two way defenseman. Jokiharju’s upside is realistically a top 4 defenseman in the NHL. At the long scheme of things, Jokiharju replenishes Buffalo’s cupboard when it comes to defensive prospects, having traded Brendan Guhle last season and moving on from a forward prospect who was not living up to expectations.
Alex Nylander has not lived up to expectations since being drafted 6th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Level Draft and has since played 19 NHL games, scoring three goals and three assists for six points in parts of three seasons. Although Alex’s brother, William Nylander, has found some success in the NHL, the same can not be said about the 21-year-old. This trade could potentially give the young forward the change of scenery he needs to kickstart his career. Although another year or two in the minors could do him some good to help him find consistency. That has always been Nylander’s biggest problem.
Each player’s impact
As of right now, Jokiharju could immediately impact the NHL on the Sabres’ roster and build on his solid rookie campaign. Nylander technically still is a rookie in the NHL and it will take a few more years in the AHL to help him sort out his consistency issues.
At the current date, Buffalo seems to have won the trade, they got a skilled defensive prospect who can immediately make an impact in the NHL. As much as I believe that this was a mistake by the Blackhawks, I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that this trade could look a lot different in a few years. I guess the only way to know is to wait and see!
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