The Chicago Blackhawks and the Colorado Avalanche have pulled off a three player trade, but its something of a strange one.
According to an official announcement from the Avalanche, the Avalanche have acquired veteran forward Carl Soderberg. The Avalanche have also announced that it will be both Josh Dickinson and Ryder Rolston going back the other way in exchange for Soderberg's services.
The acquisition of Soderberg from the Avalanche makes perfect sense given their needs as they head into the playoffs. The rumor mill has suggested for weeks now that the Avalanche were in the market for depth up the middle of the ice, and Soderberg certainly fits that need. Additionally the Avalanche know exactly what they are getting out of this deal, with Soderberg having spent several seasons within the Avalanche organization earlier in his career.
What doesn't make as much sense here is the return for the Blackhawks. 19 year old Ryder Rolston is a former fifth round pick (139th overall) of the Avalanche at the 2020 National hockey League Entry Draft, but it would appear that he is still quite a ways off from ever playing in the NHL. Rolson is currently playing for Notre Dame in the Big-10 and picked up just 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points over 28 games this season. Presumably Rolston will continue his career at Notre Dame for the foreseeable future, so it may be some time before the Blackhawks ever use him, if they end up using him at all.
The other piece the Blackhawks are getting in this deal doesn't seem to make a ton of sense either. 23 year old Josh Dickinson is an undrafted centerman who has never played a single National Hockey League game in his professional career. In fact he is currently playing in the ECHL for the Utah Grizzlies and I would be shocked if he ever makes it to the NHL at this stage of his career.
Of course the Blackhawks should not have expected a huge return in exchange for Soderberg, but this seems to be a pure gamble on the part of the Blackhawks. I suspect that they believe Rolston could one day become a role player for them, and it may very well be that this was the best offer on the table.