The Chicago Blackhawks have traded Dylan Sikura to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a familiar face. Brandon Pirri, who started his career with the Blackhawks, will be coming back to Chicago in the one-for-one deal.
Despite strong numbers in the minor leagues, Sikura never seemed to fit into the Blackhawks plan and has played just 47 NHL games since turning pro in 2018. He’s scored just a single goal in those games and recorded 14 points, not nearly enough for a player of his offensive nature.
In Vegas, perhaps Sikura will be given a bigger opportunity to show what he can do, but that chance wasn’t going to come in Chicago. He’s heading into the final year of his current deal and can become a Group VI unrestricted free agent if he fails to play in 33 NHL games next season.
Pirri meanwhile is a much more proven NHL commodity, though he comes with warts of his own. Now 29, the Blackhawks second-round pick from 2009 has shown an aptitude for scoring goals at the highest level but not a lot else. Pirri has 72 tallies in his 275-game NHL career, but just 49 assists to go with it. In his best offensive year, he scored 22 times with the Florida Panthers and amazingly recorded just two assists.
Technically Pirri will be staying put, given he has spent the last three seasons playing most of his games with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. The Golden Knights have changed their affiliate to Henderson, Nevada, but Pirri could very well stay in Chicago if he can make the Blackhawks roster. He comes on the final year of his contract and carries a $775K cap hit.