The Edmonton Oilers acquired Chicago Blackhawks star defenseman Duncan Keith and minor league forward Tim Soderlund on Monday in a trade for defenseman Caleb Jones and a 2022 conditional third-round draft pick, it was announced.
Keith waived his no-movement clause to facilitate the trade; he expressed a desire to be closer to his son in British Columbia.
The conditional third-round pick becomes a second-round pick if Edmonton wins three rounds in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs and Keith is among the top four Edmonton defensemen in total ice time through those rounds.
There was no salary retained in the trade by Chicago. Keith has two years left on his 13-year contract at $5,538,462 against the salary cap.
"Duncan Keith was the ultimate professional with the Chicago Blackhawks," Blackhawks president and GM Stan Bowman said in a statement. "His toughness on the ice, his leadership in the community and his dedication to the game are a few of the reasons the Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups during his 16-year career with Chicago. He will go down as one of the best and most driven defensemen this game has ever seen.
"Recently, Duncan came to us with a request to be traded to a team closer to his son and we were happy to work something out that was mutually beneficial for Duncan's family and the future of the Blackhawks. We appreciate all he has contributed to our team and the City of Chicago and his legacy will always be celebrated."
Keith won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP in 2015. In his career, he has 105 goals and 520 assists and is a plus-144. He won the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman in 2009-10 and 2013-14.
Keith will go down as one of the best Blackhawks of all time and is almost assured of making the Hall of Fame.
But recent years have not been kind to Keith or the Blackhawks. His effectiveness as a defenseman has declined for several seasons, and specifically since 2019. His points per 60 minutes and puck-possession numbers have declined in consecutive seasons. His minus-8 goals scored above average was third worst for any NHL player over the past two seasons (minimum 100 games). This season, Keith had 15 points in 54 games, skating to a minus-13.
With the Blackhawks in a rebuild, however, the 37-year-old was asked to skate a team-high 23 minutes and 25 seconds per game last season. Chicago also had some of the worst team defensive metrics in the league.
Jones, 24, finished his third NHL season, all with the Oilers, with four assists in 33 games, skating to a career-low 13:36 per game. He has 19 points in 93 games in the NHL, skating to a minus-17.
Jones is the younger brother of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones. The Blackhawks are one of the rumored destinations for Seth Jones, whom the Blue Jackets are expected to trade before next season.