Per Kevin Weekes, the Penguins are closing in on acquiring Reilly Smith from the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a draft pick. Vegas area writer Danny Webster also confirmed that the trade is in place.
**Breaking News**— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) June 28, 2023
I’m told the @GoldenKnights are trading F Reilly Smith to @penguins for a 3rd Rd Draft Pick. @espn @NHL @NHLNetwork @DKSportsbook @TSNHockey #HockeyTwitter pic.twitter.com/939VKLtejf
The deal has not been formally announced as of yet.
Update: The Golden Knights have announced the trade on twitter, it is complete.
Smith, 32, has two more seasons remaining on a $5.0 million cap hit. Given his salary and fit as a scoring line winger, acquiring him would likely close the door on a return for Jason Zucker. Zucker is likely to sign in the same price range, but reportedly looking for a longer term on his contract as an impending free agent.
Smith has been a member of the Golden Knights since their founding in 2017. He recorded 26 goals and 30 assists last season and has six career 50+ point seasons under his belt as a reliable secondary scoring option. Smith recorded 14 points (4G+10A) in 22 playoff games during the Golden Knights’ run to the Stanley Cup this spring.
The Penguins have a third round pick in the draft that begins tonight (No. 90 overall, acquired in the John Marino trade) however, the pick traded to Vegas is a 2024-third rounder. It is the Knights’ original pick acquired in the Teddy Blueger deal, a nicer piece of business for the Pens to flip a rental depth player in exchange for a scoring line performer.
Smith should help the Pens out a lot in transition, and his playmaking ability will be a great fit on a line with either Evgeni Malkin or Jake Guentzel.
And here is Kyle Dubas, folks! The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired Reilly Smith from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a 3rd round draft pick. Smith is TOP6 offensive winger & Stanley Cup champion of course. pic.twitter.com/hmGAr8xv7e— Andy & Rono (@ARHockeyStats) June 28, 2023
Smith is the type of player Kyle Dubas mentioned about weaponizing the Pens’ cap space to target quality players from cap strapped teams. And soon enough once the transaction is finished up, it looks like Dubas’ first move in Pittsburgh will be to fill the only hole in the roster’s scoring lines as the team looks to reshape and improve for next season.