Vegas Golden Knights deal Pirri to Blackhawks in exchange for Sikura

Dylan Sikura #95 of the Chicago Blackhawks controls the puck in front of Chris Terry #15 of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Dylan Sikura #95 of the Chicago Blackhawks controls the puck in front of Chris Terry #15 of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

We have ourselves a Vegas Golden Knights trade.

It was announced on Monday that the Vegas Golden Knights had acquired forward Dylan Sikura from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Sikura has one year remaining on his current contract, which carries a cap hit of $750,000, and will become a Restricted Free Agent prior to the 2021-22 season.

It was a one-for-one trade with the Golden Knights sending forward Brandon Pirri to the Hawks, with both players regulars in the American Hockey League.

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At first glance, Sikura is a slight upgrade on Pirri given that he is 25 and still has his prime years ahead of him.

Therefore, there could be some potential left for the Golden Knights to tap into, whereas the 29-year-old Pirri had failed to really take advantage of his opportunity in Sin City.

Pirri recorded 23 points (15 G, 8 A) in 49 games with a plus/minus rating of +6, and showed flashes of brilliance in the NHL with Vegas but could never put it all together, while he failed to light the lamp in 16 NHL games this season after signing a two-year, $775,000 contract extension last off-season.

It was a different story in the AHL where Pirri absolutely flourished, becoming an AHL All-Star in 2017-18.

There was a human element to this deal, however, with Pirri’s wife and son remaining home in Chicago throughout the forward’s tenure in Vegas.

Therefore, you have to give Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon plenty of credit for manufacturing a trade that allowed Pirri to be closer to his family and go back to the franchise who drafted him 59th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

On the flip side, the Golden Knights will be gaining a younger forward in Sikura who can play center or wing, which is always an attractive trait for any NHL franchise.

Like Pirri, Sikura has spent most of his career in the minors with 68 points in 91 games for the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL, including 33 points (14 G, 19 A) in 45 games in 2019-20.

Sikura, who was the 178th overall pick by the Blackhawks in the 2014 NHL Draft, played nine games for Chicago in the NHL this season, putting up one goal and two assists for three points with a +1 rating, scoring his first career goal in the National Hockey League against the Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 5, 2020.

He has 14 points (one G, 13 A) in 47 career NHL games for the Blackhawks, and the former Hobey Baker finalist will now look to breathe fresh life into his career in Vegas.

Likely to start the 2020-21 season in the American Hockey League with the Henderson Silver Knights, Sikura could prove to be a useful depth player if injuries hit the Golden Knights at any point.

The 5’11” left-shot can be used in a checking forward role and his two-way game should suit Head Coach Pete DeBoer’s system.

And we saw with Nicolas Roy last year that, if put in the right situations, a role player can thrive and become a staple of the bottom six.

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That would be a best-case scenario for the Golden Knights who have really struggled with secondary scoring, and a change of scenery could be what Dylan Sikura needs to elevate his game and make a real impact in the National Hockey League.