CHICAGO – It’s not the trade that many are waiting for, but the Blackhawks have completed their first major deal of the 2023 NHL trade deadline season.

The team has traded defenseman Jake McCabe, forward Sam Lafferty, a 2024 conditional fifth-round pick, and a 2025 conditional fifth round pick to the Maple Leafs.

In exchange, the Blackhawks will get a conditional 2025 first round pick, a 2026 second round pick, along with forwards Joey Anderson and Pavel Gogolev, who’ve mostly spent this season in the minors.

As part of this trade, the Blackhawks will retain 50 percent of McCabe’s salary, as he has two years left on a four-year, $16 million contract he signed with the team before the 2021-2022 season.

This trade continues what will be a trend for the team as they acquire draft picks and young prospects as part of their rebuild under general manager Kyle Davidson. Many are expecting nine-time All-Star Patrick Kane to be dealt at some point before the March 3 trade deadline, most likely to the New York Rangers.

McCabe tied his career-high of 18 assists in 55 games with the Blackhawks in 2022-2023 with 122 hits and 115 blocked shots. He’s played in 130 games in two seasons with the team, scoring six goals with 36 assists.

Acquired when Davidson was still the interim general manager in January 2022, Lafferty had a productive calendar year in Chicago as he scored five goals and six assists last season and had a career-best campaign in 2022-2023.

The forward has ten goals and 11 assists in 51 games.

Anderson has played 14 games with the Maple Leafs this season and has taken the ice for 72 NHL contests in his career, collecting ten goals and six assists on that level.

Gogolev has played in the ECHL with the Newfoundland Growlers and the AHL with the Toronto Marlies for the last three seasons. He’s mostly been with the Growlers, scoring 21 goals with 27 assists in 33 games, while taking the ice just once for the Marlies.