April 16, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing Brad Winchester (10) warms up before game three of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals against the St. Louis Blues at HP Pavilion. St. Louis defeated San Jose 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Trades: Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild Make Small Deal

The headline and picture might be confusing. After all, I’m mentioning a trade between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild, and the picture is of a player with the San Jose Sharks.

That’s because the trade has the Blackhawks sending journeyman forward Brad Winchester to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defenseman Brian Connelly.

Winchester was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers with their second-round pick (35th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. However, he only played 78 games in total for the team that drafted him. Since then, Winchester has spent time with the Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks before ending up with the Blackhawks before this season.

Winchester never played a game for the Blackhawks, being sent down to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL after the pre-season. In 55 games with the IceHogs, Winchester registered 16 goals  and 14 assists for a total of 30 points. If he gets sent to the Wild’s farm team in Iowa, it will be his second stint in the city as when he played in the Dallas system, their AHL team was in Iowa at the time.

Connelly is making his return to the Blackhawks organization after beginning his career in Chicago’s system, signing as an undrafted free agent. He played just over three and a half seasons in Rockford before being traded to the Calgary Flames. He signed with the Wild after the 2011-12 season and has spent the past two seasons in the Wild’s system. He has yet to play an NHL game.

Tags: Minnesota Wild

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