Panthers, Blackhawks make deal

Photos: Todd Reicher, Kelly Shea

The Florida Panthers have acquired forward Aleksi Saarela from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Ian McCoshen.

Saarela, 22, has one assist in five games with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs this season.

Last year, Saarela scored a team-leading 30 goals and added 24 assists for 54 points in 69 regular-season games with the Charlotte Checkers, then added seven goals and eight assists in 17 postseason contests as the Checkers won the Calder Cup. He also made his NHL debut with Carolina, appearing in one game during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Saarela has totaled 61 goals and 47 assists for 108 points in 152 AHL games with Charlotte and Rockford. He was originally a third-round choice by the New York Rangers in the 2015 NHL Draft.

McCoshen, 24, has four assists in seven games with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds this season.

In 115 career AHL contests with Springfield, he has recorded four goals and 26 assists for 30 points.

A second-round pick by Florida in the 2013 NHL Draft, McCoshen has played 60 NHL games with the Panthers, notching four goals and three assists.