Liam Coughlin

Blackhawks Acquire Liam Coughlin

Blackhawks announced today they acquired forward Liam Coughlin from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for goaltender Anders Nilsson.

Coughlin, 20, was a fifth round pick (#130 overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Oilers. Listed at 6-3 and 200 pounds, Coughlin posted 60 points (20 goals, 40 assists) in 54 games for the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League last season. He added three goals and seven assists in 11 playoff games.

Nilsson was acquired in the trade sending Nick Leddy to the Islanders. This may have played a role in his departure:

40 thoughts on “Blackhawks Acquire Liam Coughlin

  1. According to eliteprospect will play next year in University of Vermont (NCAA). Another longtime shot with no need to sign soon,

  2. Clearly Nilsson wasn’t going to start on the Hawks roster to begin the season and Stan decided to flip his rights for some type of asset.

    Here is what futures say about him;

    Coughlin is in his second yr with the Vernon Vipers in 2014-15 and in October 2014 he announced that he was changing his college commitment and will play at the University of Vermont in 2015-16. He was the leading scorer for Vernon as the Vipers finished second to Penticton in the Interior Division. As with most late round, overage draft picks, Coughlin is a work in progress at this point and it is difficult to forecast his NHL potential until he has played at the college level.

  3. First Raanta for Haggerty and now Nilsson for this shlep. I guess because we’re so stocked with goalies we can be giving them away? Don’t understand either of those moves. So behind Crawford and Darling, we have … Leighton and Carruth – YIKES! Here’s to good health Corey and Scott!

  4. I was wondering what they were going to do with Nilsson. It would have been ideal to stash him in Rockford but he wasn’t going there. It’s better to get someone for him that appears to be a decent prospect then let him rot in the KHL.

    Here’s a video on Liam that you might enjoy. Maybe they’ll make a similar one of him with the Hawks!

  5. Played in the BCHL the last couple years and will turn 21 before he enters Vermont in the fall. I guess Cinderella stories happen every once in a while, but I’m keeping my expectations VERY low.

  6. Right, I don’t think Nilsson was worth much, but he is a goalie who played very well last season and the Hawks have a dearth of goalies in the system, especially after trading Raanta for a guy that isn’t going to help the Hawks. The Raanta trade is the one that really sticks in my craw – this one is a slap upside my head to remind me of the Raanta trade.

  7. Again, why SB gave a quality asset away for nothing? Why not sign Nilsson for 1 year 900k, let him compete for a job in the training camp and then explore your options – trade Craw, send down Darling, trade Nilsson etc. Give Nilsson away for free now doesn’t help at all…

  8. Oh that’s right Ernie – thanks for reminding me. So the Hawks and Icehogs got 3 goalies between them. Good think Rockford is close to Chicago. Hope Darling has a fast car :)

  9. If the guys states he’s not going to the AHL only the NHL what do you want SB to do? Are you going to demote Darling? I don’t get the frustration on this deal.

  10. Do you get the frustration on dealing Hasek away in the past? Nilsson is very good goalie, carried his team to KHL final last season. If he would beat Darling for back up job, it is a nice problem to have, but SB gave him away even before he could show what he can do. When we got him from NYI, he was an AHL goalie, now he has the reputation of probably best GK of KHL, I would think his value went up a bit. Why gave him away so quickly for nothing? In a few days hawks went from the team with 3-4 very good goalies to the one, which is 1 away injury from disaster and there was no reason to do that at all (didn’t affect the cap).

  11. Right, I don’t get the frustration over the deal either. Nilsson did not want to play the AHL so why not get something for him that may turn out. The kid they got is big and obviously they must have known about him / liked him and they have a couple years to evaluate him. He’s going into a decent program at Vermont.

    For those worried about goaltending depth, I wouldn’t worry. There will be plenty of decent goaltenders floating around looking for gigs. A young one may arrive via trade & Tab mentioned they’ve got a Swedish goalie coming over for prospect camp.

  12. 1) Nilsson wasn’t coming to North America to play in the AHL.
    2) the Blackhawks don’t have an NHL roster spot open.
    3) Therefore, Nilsson meant nothing to the organizational depth in Chicago.

    If you’re really pissed that Bowman traded NOTHING for a 6-3, 200 lb forward, I can’t help you. There is zero (0 – NONE – NADA) comparison between Nilsson and Hasek. Hasek played here before he was traded.

  13. That top video tells a lot about him. Boston area kid with family genes in hockey. Was originally committed to U Mass Amherst but not Univ. of Vermont.

    This is a restock for the future move. Nilsson was a restricted free agent and they don’t need more of those.

  14. Wow. Leave it to some Hawk fans to over react! I guess some are still incredulous that Stan has won 2 more Cups after Tallon left. After all Tallon was the real genius. Oh wait his Florida teams have been at the bottom of the NHL. So much for that argument.

    But I digress. Before you get all excited about Nilsson leaving you should do some research and see that he has played in the NHL. Oh yea quite poorly actually!

    2013-2014 Islanders 19 8 7 – 2 0 57 548 .896 3.11 1,101

  15. As I stated earlier – my problem with this trade is tied to the Raanta trade. Did trading Nilsson really need to happen now? Leave him over there to play in the KHL kind of like having him in the bullpen in case something happens to either Crawford of Darling like trade or injury. He would be a better replacement for one of those guys than Leighton or ??? Was Haggerty or Coughlin must haves? Do either of them have high upsides worth trading away 2 players at a position that’s already seriously thin?

    Maybe Coughlin is a late bloomer but going into college as a 21 year old after playing 2 years in the BCHL does not sound very promising, regardless how big he is. And what is Haggerty’s upside that was worth a goalie that could have been brought up if Crawford or Darling gets injured.

    Just don’t get either of those trades … not to mention that maybe Stan should be 100% focused on the task at hand instead of making meaningless minor trades.

  16. Yeah, I know Nilsson’s past history in the NHL wasn’t good. The point is that goalies take a while to hit their stride and Nilsson had an outstanding season in the KHL last year so maybe he’s gotten better since he played for the Islanders. But maybe he still wouldn’t be good enough to play in the NHL – who knows – but what is the rush to ship him out of the system for some guy that has longer odds to get to the NHL than Nilsson does?

  17. Ebony,

    Nilsson did not want to spend another year in the KHL. He wanted to come over to North America and play in the NHL. So the argument of “stashing” him over in Russia doesn’t hold up. He is a restricted free agent and needs to be signed and that costs money.

    As far as the timing of this trade, obviously Edmonton was looking for a 2nd goaltender so it’s strike while the iron is hot. Get something for this guy if they weren’t going to sign him, and on the surface it appears he wouldn’t sign with the Blackhawks because as Tab said, no NHL roster spot is available.

    I don’t get the Haggerty hate and am not sure why you’re writing him off already. He was a guy they were interested in as a college free agent but the kid was a Ranger fan and wanted to sign there.

    They obviously like the kid they traded for, you can’t teach that size and Lord knows they need future power forwards. I say he deserves a chance and let’s see how he develops at Vermont, a quality program.

    They will sign or trade for another goalie, someone they think has a future and doesn’t need to be signed yet or is on an entry level deal. Failing that, there will be plenty of goalie depth hunting around for gigs this summer, there always are. They are not going to get caught short in goal.

  18. Oh and on Raanta … his deal is one way this year so shuttling him back and forth to Rockford would be problematic. Exposed to waivers, they could lose him for nothing. Better to get a player they had their eye on with some upside.

    July 6, 2015 at 5:12 pm
    Again, why SB gave a quality asset away for nothing? Why not sign Nilsson for 1 year 900k, let him compete for a job in the training camp and then explore your options – trade Craw, send down Darling, trade Nilsson etc. Give Nilsson away for free now doesn’t help at all…

    Trade probably has something to do with the 50 man roster limit and Coughlin not needing to be signed for a while.

    July 6, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Nilsson did not want to spend another year in the KHL. He wanted to come over to North America and play in the NHL. So the argument of “stashing” him over in Russia doesn’t hold up. He is a restricted free agent and needs to be signed and that costs money.

    As far as the timing of this trade, obviously Edmonton was looking for a 2nd goaltender so it’s strike while the iron is hot.

    Oilers have Ben Scrivens as well as Talbot + a very good prospect in the AHL so it might be more likely that they want to create some competition in net at TC for the backup position. OR Chiarelli has another move planned and Scrivens goes buh bye. Gawd knows they want badly to move Nikita Nikitin’s and Andrew Ference’ contracts. Probably Teddy Purcell’s as well.

  21. I agree with Hof’s earlier assessment. This is a move to (a) get rid of someone that is of no use to the organization, and (b) get a guy that can be part of a trade deal.

  22. Hof – thanks for talking me back off the ledge – although I was really never out on the ledge because neither one of these deals is worth getting all upset over. But, you make a good point about Raanta having the second year of his deal be one-way – I had forgotten that. Maybe Haggerty or Coughlin is a diamond in the rough – who knows at this point. Maybe I win the lottery too … it could happen :)

  23. Current unrestricted goalies-

    Mark Visentin
    Michael Houser
    Viktor Fasth
    Ray Emery
    Peter Budaj

    Let’s not forget, Scott Darling would have been on that list 1 year ago.

  24. Regardless of who would have been number 3. Wouldn’t Darling and Raanta have had to pass through waivers on there age alone? Whoever would have been sent down wouldn’t have cleared, so they got something for essentially nothing. As is the case with Nilsson.

  25. Sorry to go off topic but I have been waiting for a chance to ask a question which may have been discussed at an earlier time. If so, please give me a pass on this one. Can someone please tell me what Viktor Tikhonen brings to the table that the Hawks don’t already have at Rockford?

    The best I can come up with is one of the following:

    1. Panarin wouldn’t sign with the Hawks unless his buddy was also brought over;

    2. The Hawks proactively signed him to acculturate Panarin to the US and the NHL;

    3. Tue Russian Mafia has a piece of both Panarin and Tikhonen and demanded that the Hawks could forget about Panarin if they didn’t sign Tikhonen;

    4. Tikhonen can actually play and is better than the numerous forwards the Hawks have knocking at the door for a roster spot.

    5. I am paranoid and need to seek medical help.

  26. SB getting something and not giving up much because Nilsson was never going to be a Hawk or and IceHog this year. The development of Darling made Nilsson expendible. Also he was more of a throw in on the Leddy salary dump than anything. The real prize in that trade was Ville Pokka. I don’t see how minor trades like this can irritate anyone. If someone develops into an NHLready player it is a real bonus but should be counted on.

  27. Ernie, that list is a joke, none of those goalies are gonna see time in NHL, big concern is what do hawks do if Crawford gets hurt, and darlings plays like he did in end of Nashville series. Carruth was a choke artist in Portland, his knock is he can’t win big games. Kane, and who brought the core together for Stan to win two more cups? Yes that’s right Dale did, Seabrook, Keith , Crawford, hammer, sharp trade , Hossa signing, drafting Toews, Bickel , Kane, Versteeg ……all on dales watch, so you can give Stan all the credit in the world , but the core of this team is all Dale. But give Stan credit for signing Bickel to $4m a year, crow $6 M year, he did draft Saad and traded him too, over paid for Vermette , really over paid for timonen. Reaquired steeger signed Richards. Has over played his hand on trading sharpy, still sitting on steeger and Stan gave Bickel a no trade contract? I’m not bitter just not sold on Stan , I think his daddy calls more shots than we really know. Go Hawks

  28. Stan Bowman wins the damned if you do damned if you don’t award-again for the 3rd straight year.

  29. Good one Noonan96…poor Stan can’t get any respect, Crawford either it seems, Its all ridiculous really as Stan is way ahead of the pack. Who you want, Lamoriello? Gimme a break.

    I’ve been evacuated, along with appx. 10,000 others from all the forest fires burning in N. Saskatchewan. This really sucks but I have my iPad so will stay in touch and monitor the CI’s.

  30. Reggie, while there may be something to the Panarin signed because the Hawks assured him they would sign Tikhonov – I don’t have any evidence that there was – but it’s plausible. But, Tikhonov is a pretty good player in his own right. He was on the Russian WC team in May (as was Panarin) and plays a good 2-way game. But aside from that, he’s Panarin’s comfort zone and for $1M cap hit – if he can help Panarin reach his potential – it’s worth a roster spot and the $1M.

  31. The point is…appreciate what you have and give thanks…dont take for granted that your bed, your coffee machine, your shower, your dog wil be there…I just want to get back home at this point but its not going to happen….it can all change in a hurry…we won the Stanley Cup, Stan Bowman is an uber genius, Q is simply the best, the team is remarkable, the fans are outstanding, the others are all envious. The team next year will be very exciting and from my viewpoint, poised and capable to win again.

  32. Sorry to hear about the problems you are facing up North, Mining Man. Best wishes to you and all of yours. Good points made. We’ve had it pretty good!

  33. Mining Man-take care-
    I have relatives that have a farm close to Scott Sask (close to North Battleford)

  34. Mining Man, talk about putting things into perspective. Good lord. Please know that your Committed Indian friends send along best wishes.

    We have a two-time cup winning goalie and another very large human backing him up. Leighton is fine in case of emergency. More concerned about shoring up (re-signing 27) the defense to have 3 reliable lines than having goalie depth 4-deep.

    We keep adding bodies, there has to be subtraction coming at some point, especially with 27 and 16 still hanging out there.

  35. Yes I heard there were four Major fires in Saskatchewan, the worst the province has ever scen. Take care and hope they get it under control soon.

  36. …..after second cup for Bowman have stopped criticizing him for numerous player changes that occured the last few years and thoroughly enjoyed the third with the Bowmans at the helm……lets hope we can get another cup with the same excellent management coaching and ownership….emotional ties to players unfortunately is not how its done these days…..player changes are required more often to stay on top….

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