The Chicago Blackhawks are considered to be one of the top teams to watch out for ahead of the 2023 NHL trade deadline, largely because of the Patrick Kane situation. The Blackhawks, however, did move the needle a little bit Wednesday night when they traded for Ottawa Senators defenseman Nikita Zaitsev and rights to a couple of future picks, as reported by Emily Kaplan of ESPN.

“The Chicago Blackhawks obtained more draft capital via a trade with the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night. The Blackhawks acquired veteran Nikita Zaitsev, a 2023 second-round pick and a 2026 fourth-rounder from Ottawa in exchange for future considerations.”

Notwithstanding a current three-game win streak, the Blackhawks are going nowhere this season, as their main focus is on rebuilding the team for the future. Acquiring more assets via the Nikita Zaitsev have the Blackhawks now having a total of five picks in the first two rounds of the 2023 NHL Draft, which will take place in June.

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The 31-year-old Nikita Zaitsev has appeared in 28 games in the 2022-23 NHL season and collected five points (five assists) with the Senators before getting shipped to Windy City. He signed a seven-year 31.5 million contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2017 and was traded by the team to the Senators in 2019 along with Connor Brown and Michael Carcone for Cody Ceci, Ben Harpur, Aaron Luchuk and a 2020 Round 3 pick.

Zaitsev’s cap hit is a bit hefty at $4.5 million until the end of the 2023-24 NHL season, but he shouldn’t significantly impact the future plans of Chicago, which will have more losing in the way as it continues its rebuilding phase.