Monday, February 10, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Penguins acquire Zucker



           The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Jason Zucker from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Alex Galchenyuk, defenseman Calen Addison and a protected 2020 first round pick.

            The Wild are in full sell mode. Last year, they traded from their core, dealing Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund and Charlie Coyle, and now Zucker this year. The Wild need pieces for the rebuild, but they don't have many pending UFAs. Mikko Koivu is a pending UFA, but he is a Wild legend and it would be hard to see them trading him. Zucker has three more years under contract after 2019-20. For a top-6 winger, the price may seem high, but the first round pick had to go, plus the Penguins needed cap space. He should be a consistent 20 goal scorer. Galchenyuk is having a terrible season, and he is a UFA at the end of the year. Addison is a good prospect, but he does not have star potential. Galchenyuk, a former third overall pick, is still only 25. However, he has not scored 20 goals since 2015-16, when he scored 30. He is not great defensively. The Penguins, despite injury issues, will finish in a great spot this year. The first round pick will likely be in the 22-31 range. Addison has scored at a point per game pace in the WHL, good for a defenseman.

             Zucker, 28, has scored 14 goals with 15 assists for 29 points in 45 games for the Wild this year. In his NHL career, all in Minnesota, Zucker has scored 132 goals with 111 assists for 243 points in 456 games.

             Galchenyuk, who will turn 26 on February 12, has scored five goals with 12 assists for 17 points in 45 games this year. In his NHL career for the Penguins, Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens, Galchenyuk has scored 132 goals with 181 assists for 313 points in 535 games.

             Addison, 19, has 10 goals with 33 assists for 43 points in 39 games for the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes this year. In his WHL career Addison has 41 goals with 134 assists for 175 points in 241 games.

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