The real shocker of the 2022 trade deadline was the involvement of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who had made it pretty well known leading up to the deadline that they weren’t going to be involved as they didn’t see a need. The Penguins maintained the best poker face Monday as they waited in the shadows buying their time till they were ready to strike and sneak in, outbidding other teams, especially the Boston Bruins. Right, when it seemed Boston was striking their second deal with the Anaheim Ducks at the deadline, the Penguins one-upped the Bruins offer to lead to the acquisition of second-line right-winger Rickard Rakell as the Penguins look to upgrade their top six.
The Trade Details
The Penguins’ offer to beat out their competitors involved two players at the NHL level, a prospect, and a singular draft pick. The NHL players sent to Anaheim were Pittsburgh bottom-six depth forwards Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon, both of whom are on expiring deals, becoming UFA’s after the season. The prospect they are surrendering is former third-round pick goaltender Calle Clang, a top 10 or 15 prospect in the organization’s shallow prospect pool. The final piece to the puzzle going to Anaheim is the Penguins 2022 second-round draft pick, which will most likely be a later-round pick as the Penguins are playoff-bound at the moment.
What Kind of Player is Pittsburgh Getting?
The Penguins are getting 28-year-old Rickard Rakell, who is in the final year of a six-year contract that carries a 3.79 cap hit this season. Appearing in 51 games so far this season, the 6’1″, 195-pound winger has 28 points, 16 goals, and 12 assists while managing 18:21 minutes of ice time a night. Luckily for the cap-strapped Pens, the Ducks have agreed to retain 35 percent of Rakell’s AAV, allowing GM Ron Hextall and president of hockey operations Brian Burke to make it work. This gives Pitt hope as they look to add secondary scoring to a competitive roster with Stanley Cup aspirations surrounding their aging core that doesn’t have many more go-arounds.