The Chicago Blackhawks made their first trade of the season on Wednesday night when they sent Jack Skille and two prospects to the Florida Panthers for Michael Frolik and a goalie prospect.
“When you look at the situation for the Blackhawks,” former player and current analyst Eddie Olczyk said on the Danny Mac Show. “They were looking to acquire a guy that had the skill level that could play in the top six. And I think that’s what they’ve gotten with Michael Frolik.”
LISTEN: Eddie Olczyk On The Mully And Hanley Show
In 52 games this season Frolik has eight goals and 21 assists with a +2 rating and 16 penalty minutes. The former 10th overall pick will also be the first player in Blackhawks history to wear No. 67.
“He’s a guy that scored a couple back-to-back 20-goal seasons, he’s had an off year this year” Olczyk said. “But what I think it does is that it gives Joel [Quenneville] a legitimate guy that he can put up there and play in the top six.”
The addition of a center who can play on the first two lines is invaluable for the Blackhawks. It would allow for Patrick Sharp to move back to the wing where he can score more goals. In addition, Quenneville will the option of playing either Frolik or Dave Bolland on the second line depending on matchups.
In this trade the Blackhawks moved Skille, who probably is a third line forward at best, and got a top six forward in return. The addition of Frolik will free up even more lineup flexibility and options.
“When you don’t have the depth you ask guys to step up a little bit,” Olczyk said. “And I think it’s the perfect situation where the ‘Hawks are able to bring in a guy that has the ability to play in the top six.”