Canucks trade forwards Ilya Mikheyev and Sam Lafferty to Blackhawks


The Vancouver Canucks attempted to clear some cap space in their offseason deal with the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. In a multi-player trade according to Rogers Sportsnet, the Canucks traded forwards Ilya Mikheyev of Omsk, Russia and Sam Lafferty of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania to the Blackhawks with a second round pick in the 2027 National Hockey League Entry Draft for a fourth round pick in the 2027 NHL Entry Draft. The deal clears $4 million in salary cap space for the Canucks with NHL Free Agency set to begin on Canada Day.

Ilya Mikheyev

Mikheyev is joining his third National Hockey League franchise. He played three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2019 to 2022, and the last two seasons with the Vancouver Canucks from 2022 to 2024.

A right winger, Mikheyev had 11 goals and 21 assists for 31 points in 78 games during the 2023-24 NHL regular season. He was a +1 with four penalty minutes, one game-winning goal, 147 shots on goal, eight faceoff wins, 20 blocked shots, 49 hits, 19 takeaways and 16 giveaways. Mikheyev’s game-winning goal came in a 4-3 Canucks win over the Chicago Blackhawks on December 17, 2023. Mikheyev put the Canucks up 4-2 at 15:41 of the second period from Pius Suter of Zurich, Switzerland and defenseman Tyler Myers.

Mikheyev is one of two former Russian Maple Leaf forwards who made headlines on Wednesday. The other is Sergei Berezin of Voskresensk, who passed away at the age of 52. Mikheyev and Berezin have a similarity because they were known for their gentlemanly play. Mikheyev only has 42 penalty minutes in 270 games, while Berezin only had 54 penalty minutes in 502 games.

Sam Lafferty

Lafferty, a centre and left winger, is returning to the Blackhawks. He was previously there for two seasons from 2022 to 2023. Lafferty also was with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2019 to 2022, and the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2023.

This past season in Chicago, Lafferty had 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points in 79 games. He was a +4 with 32 penalty minutes, three game-winning goals, one shorthanded point, 78 shots on goal, 150 faceoff wins, 32 blocked shots, 191 hits, 17 takeaways, and 19 giveaways. Lafferty’s shorthanded point was a shorthanded goal in a 3-1 Canucks win over the San Jose Sharks on November 20, 2023. Lafferty scored from Teddy Blueger of Riga, Latvia with one second left in the second period which put the Canucks up 2-0 at the time.


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