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Instant Thoughts: the internet reacts to the Penguins trading for Jason Zucker

Lots of thoughts about the Penguins Monday night addition of Jason Zucker from the Minnesota Wild

Edmonton Oilers v Minnesota Wild Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

It didn’t take long for lots of information to get out there about the Penguins addition of Jason Zucker. Here’s some takes floating around the internet that seem relevant to pile together to get a bit of context on what the initial reaction was on the night of the trade.

That’s a lot of takes, but the reaction has mostly been positive for the Penguins to add a young-ish player with a skill-set that should fit their system for four playoff runs.

Another interesting wrinkle to come out is that the Penguins were able to make the 2020 first round pick lottery draft protected. So in the unlikely event that Pittsburgh misses the playoffs this year, they keep the draft pick and the Wild get the Pens’ 2021 first rounder. Most websites have the Pens at 97-99% to make the playoffs, it’s all but a formality, but still fun to see that Jim Rutherford learned his lesson from the David Perron trade in 2015 where he did NOT protect the first round pick and the Pens didn’t clinch a playoff berth until the final day of the regular season.

Overall though, on day 1 the team that acquires the known commodity in exchange for futures always looks like the immediate winner. Pittsburgh had a very real need, and probably not a lot of available targets to choose from. They were forced to part with a defensive prospect they really liked, and one that may be a good NHL player one day. Ditto the first round pick, it might amount to something someday. But that day for a late first rounder will not be for the 2020 playoffs, the 2021 playoffs or even the 2022 playoffs.

The Pens’ window in the Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin tail-end prime is right now. The added benefit is they have core of forwards and defensemen all under team control for several years. On the surface, there should be a lot to like for the Pens who upgraded their team in a major way for the immediate future and should reap the benefits right away.