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Buffalo Sabres acquire Henri Jokiharju from Blackhawks

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Tue, Jul 9th 2019 04:10 pm

The Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday announced the team acquired defenseman Henri Jokiharju (joh-kee-HARH-yoo) from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Alexander Nylander.

Jokiharju (age 20, 6’0”, 193 pounds) made his NHL debut in 2018-19, posting 12 assists in 38 games for the Blackhawks. He also recorded 17 points (2 goals, 15 assists) in 30 AHL games for the Rockford IceHogs while his .57 points per game ranked eighth among rookie AHL defensemen with more than 20 games played.

A native of Oulu, Finland, Jokiharju made two appearances in international tournaments for Finland in 2018-19, winning a gold medal at both the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2019 IIHF World Championship. His five points (2/3) and plus-6 rating in seven games both ranked third among World Juniors defensemen. He also played for Team Finland at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship and won a gold medal with Finland at the 2016 IIHF World U18 Championship.

“Henri is a young, mobile defenseman who has shown he can compete at the NHL level,” Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill said. “His international success last season only furthered his development and we are excited to add him to our current group of defensemen.”

Drafted by Chicago in the first round (29th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, Jokiharju was named to the Western Conference Second All-Star Team in 2018 after recording 71 points (12/59) in 63 games for the Portland Winterhawks (WHL). He posted 119 points (21/98) in 134 career WHL games before making his professional debut last season.

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