Blackhawks Blockbuster: Byfuglien Dealt to Atlanta – Fantasy Implications

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Reports on Wednesday afternoon are that the Chicago Blackhawks and Atlanta Thrashers have agreed to a blockbuster trade that will send forwards Dustin Byfuglien and Ben Eager and defenseman Brent Sopel to Atlanta for veteran forward Marty Reasoner, prospect Jeremy Morin and the two draft picks the Thrashers received from New Jersey in the Ilya Kovalchuk trade.

The picks are New Jersey’s first (#24) and second (#54) in the 2010 draft. The Blackhawks now have five of the top 60 picks in this weekend’s draft.

This move saves the Blackhawks $4.183M towards the 2010-11 salary cap as well.

What are the Thrashers receiving?

Dustin Byfuglien – could become a dominant power forward, but has been inconsistent in the regular season. This could thrust him into the spotlight. His career high is 19 goals, but he piled up 215 hits last year.

Ben Eager – a restricted free agent, Eager’s a third or fourth line enforcer who loves to mix it up but has deceptive skill. Could be a solid contributor in Atlanta.

Brent Sopel – a penalty killing specialist at this point in his career, Sopel will likely be on the second or third defensive pair for the Thrashers. He has no fantasy value.

What are the Blackhawks receiving?

Marty Reasoner –  had four goals and 13 assists in 80 games last year. He has spent time with Atlanta, Edmonton, Boston and St. Louis in a 12-year career. His career high is 14 goals, scored in 2008-09 in Atlanta.

Jeremy Morin –  the third-ranked prospect in the Atlanta organization, and could be the steal of this trade. The 19-year-old played in the OHL last year, and had 47 goals and 36 assists (83 points) in 58 games. Listed at 6’1 and 190 pounds, he also racked up 76 penalty minutes last year. In 20 playoff games in the OHL, Morin added 12 goals and nine more assists. He was also a key member of the USA’s 2009 U18 World Championship gold medal team, scoring six goals and four assists in seven games. He’s a left wing with a right-handed shot. Chicago ETA: 2012

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