The Pittsburgh Penguins get in on the action on trade deadline day as they acquire forward Rickard Rakell from the Anaheim Ducks. Per Bob McKenzie of TSN, the Penguins are sending a 2022 second-round pick, Zach Aston-Reese, and a prospect to Anaheim.
— Full Press Hockey (@FullPressNHL) March 21, 2022
Penguins Trade For Rickard Rakell
The Penguins were looking to add to their top six and they got that with the acquisition of Rickard Rakell. Rakell has been linked to the Penguins for quite some time now. Even though President Brian Burke and general manager Ron Hextall said they would not do much at the trade deadline as they liked their team. However, if the situation arose for the Penguins to make a move, they were going to make it.
With Evgeni Malkin back in the lineup, they had been looking to add someone who could compliment Malkin’s play. The Penguins thought they had that in Kasperi Kapanen, but things have not worked out. So the Penguins decided to go to the trade market and get Rakell to be Malkin’s linemate.
Rakell is a former 30-goal scorer but has not been at that level in four years now because of injuries. Though he is having a bounce-back year. In 51 games with the Ducks, he has 28 points (16 goals and 12 assists). Pittsburgh is hoping Rakell’s production will increase even more with Malkin centring the line.
Ron Hextall was not willing to give up a first-round pick, and with this deal, he did not have to. Just like last season, Hextall was able to bring in Jeff Carter for cheap. The Penguins were looking to keep their window of winning open with Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, and Malkin all getting older. Not to mention Malkin, Letang, Rakell, and Bryan Rust are all UFAs this off-season, so the Penguins want to win another cup before this team may have to be broken up.
Early in the day, the Penguins added depth to their defence acquiring Nathan Beaulieu from Winnipeg.
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