The Pittsburgh Penguins got their man, finally trading for Minnesota’s Jason Zucker on Monday night.
MIN trades Jason Zucker to PIT for Galchenyuk, 2020 first-round pick and Calen Addison.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 11, 2020
The Pens have long been after Zucker, coveting his speed, production and the fact he has a few more years under contract. They tried to add him last year in exchange for Phil Kessel, but Kessel blocked the deal with his no trade clause.
But now, Zucker is a Penguin. The return follows a classic formula in deals like this - an NHL player, a first round pick and a promising prospect.
The Pens’ 2020 pick could be in the late 20s (or even into 31 or 32) depending on how the team fares in the playoffs. It’s not a great pick for a first rounder, though it still carries value. It also follows a long history of Pittsburgh trading their top pick for immediate help.
Galchenyuk is just a throw in to get his contract off the books and end a frustrating chapter. Pittsburgh got Galchenyuk for Kessel, hoping he would be able to regain the form he had in Montreal in 2015-16 where he scored 30 goals. That wasn’t the case, as Galchenyuk suffered an injury in training camp and never really got on track playing most of the season on the fourth line and barely making an impact.
Calen Addison is an interesting boom/bust type of prospect. He starred in a puck moving role for Team Canada’s gold medal winning team recently at the World Juniors. He’s also very small and suspect defensively, but good at aspects that translate well to the modern game with his vision, playmaking, puck moving and skating.
In the end though, the Pens badly needed immediate top-six help in the absence of Jake Guentzel’s season ending shoulder injury. They get it with Zucker. Obviously plenty more of this to come in the hours and days to come.
First reaction of the Jason Zucker trade?
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Happy the Pens got him
Big price, but should be OK
Unhappy with the trade price