Trades see families reunited at NHL Draft.
There is nothing that feels better, than a family being brought back together. Two young NHL stars got to experience this sensation, as they were traded to the teams that their siblings happened to play for.
The first move came just as the NHL draft was getting underway. The Pittsburgh Penguins sent center Jordan Staal to Carolina in exchange for center Brandon Sutter (of another famous hockey family), defensive prospect Brian Dumoulin and the 8th overall selection in the draft.
This move reunites Jordan with older brother Eric, who is captain of the Hurricanes. There is even speculation that Eric will move to wing, in order to play with his brother. Jordan is widely considered to be the best two-way center in the NHL. In Pittsburgh, he was trapped on the third line behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (both of which are considered by various people to be the top player in the world). In Carolina, he will finally get to be the number one guy, something that is believed to be the reason he rejected a 10-year extension with the Pens.
Interestingly enough, the team also traded for the youngest Staal brother (Jared) not too long ago. Jared might need a couple more years in the minors before he is NHL-ready, but it is conceivable that the Canes may have three Staals in their lineup in the not too distant future. Now they just need to get Marc from New York and they will have the whole set.
Fret not Penguins fans, as this move was probably necessary. Not only did it free up cap space, the return they got was more than fair. Brandon Sutter may be the second best two-way center, and can step in right away on the third line. Dumoulin is a highly regarded defensive prospect, and is projected to be a second-pairing guy in a few years. They also were able to Derrick Pouliot with their pick, who is also very highly regarded, and will eventually take some pressure off of Kris Letang to add offense from the blueline.
While it has been rumored since last year, the second deal involving siblings did not occur until this afternoon. The Toronto Maple Leafs sent defenseman Luke Schenn to Philadelphia in exchange for winger James van Reimsdyk. Luke’s little brother Braydon just completed his rookie season with the Flyers after arriving in a preseason trade with Los Angeles. Luke will help soften the loss of Chris Pronger, whose return is in doubt from a concussion. He is an aggressive shut down defender, who would complement their offensive blueliners.
For the Leafs, they finally get the power forward Brian Burke has always wanted. James van Reimsdyk should add secondary scoring, as the team relied far too heavily on Phil Kessell last season.
With the City of Brotherly Love showing some brotherly love and a storm of Staals brewing for the Caines, the NHL off-season is starting with a bang. Expect things to heat up even more come July 1st.
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