The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired centers Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann from the Florida Panthers in exchange for centers Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan, a 2019 second-round pick, and two 2019 fourth-round picks (one previously acquired from the Minnesota Wild), the team announced on Friday afternoon.
TRADE ALERT: The Penguins have acquired forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan and three draft picks.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 1, 2019
Bjugstad has tallied five goals, 12 points, and a +2 rating (which led the Panthers) in 32 games with Florida this year. Last year, he posted 19 goals, a career-high 49 points, and a +5 rating in 82 games. In 394 career NHL games (all with the Panthers), the 26-year old has recorded 87 goals, 191 points, and a -49 rating.
McCann, 22, has posted eight goals, 18 points, and a -9 rating in 46 games this season. In 212 career NHL games with the Panthers and Vancouver Canucks, the forward has posted 27 goals, 71 points, and a -5 rating.
Earlier this week, the team sent defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to the Dallas Stars for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft in a “do-over” of the deal that went down between the two teams on December 19, 2017. The deal could have been a “cap-clearing” deal to make room in cap space to make this one happen.
Trade rumors have swirled around Brassard, who was acquired in a three-way trade with the Ottawa Senators and Vegas Golden Knights just prior to the trade deadline last season, since the summer as the 31-year old tallied just 12 goals and 22 points in 54 career games with the Penguins, including just nine goals, 15 points, and a -6 rating this season. He can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
The Penguins acquired Sheahan, 27, in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings at the beginning of last season. In 122 career games with the Penguins, Sheahan posted 18 goals, 41 points, and a -3 rating, including a seven-goal, nine-point, and a -7 performance in 49 games this season.
The trade arguably makes the Penguins deeper in the bottom-six center positions after seeing the past three Stanley Cup winners with strong depth down the middle.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan and three 2019 draft picks, it was announced today by Penguins executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The 2019 draft picks the Penguins sent to the Panthers are a second-round selection and two fourth-rounders, the Pens’ own selection and the Minnesota Wild’s pick.
Bjugstad, 26, is signed through the 2020-21 campaign and he carries an average annual value of $4.1 million. McCann, 22, is signed through the 2019-20 season and he carries an average annual value of $1.25 million. McCann will be a restricted free agent upon the completion of his deal; Bjugstad will be an unrestricted free agent.
Both young forwards have played both center and on the wing this year for the Panthers. Bjugstad has won 51 percent of his draws thus far, the third time in four seasons he’s had a success rate of 51 percent or higher.
Bjugstad, who stands 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, is in his sixth full NHL season. He had five goals and 12 points in 32 games with Florida this year. Last year he suited up for all 82 games, notching 19 goals and a career-best 49 points.
A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, the righthanded-shooting Bjugstad enjoyed his best season with the Panthers in 2014-15, scoring a career-high 24 goals and totaling 43 points in 72 games. In 394 career games, Bjugstad has tallied 87 goals, 104 assists and 191 points.
Twice Bjugstad has represented the United States in the World Championship, in 2013 and ’17. He helped the Americans capture a bronze medal in ’13. Bjugstad also skated in a pair of World Junior Championships for the U.S. in 2011 and ’12. The Americans won bronze in ’11.
Originally drafted by Florida in the first round (19th overall) in 2010, Bjugstad played three seasons of college hockey at Minnesota before turning pro late in the 2012-13 campaign.
Bjugstad’s uncle, Scott, was a right wing for the Penguins in 1988-89. Scott Bjugstad notched three goals in 24 games with Pittsburgh.
McCann, who stands 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, has eight goals and 18 points in 46 games this year. Last year was the best of his four-year career. He notched career highs across the board with nine goals, 19 assists, 28 points and a plus-11 in 68 games.
The lefthanded-shooting native of Stratford, Ontario has played in 212 career NHL games with the Panthers and Vancouver Canucks, totaling 27 goals and 71 points.
McCann skated for Canada in the 2014 Under-18 World Junior Championship, helping the Canadians win a bronze medal. He played three years of junior hockey with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League, where he made the OHL All-Rookie Team in 2012-13.
McCann was originally chosen by the Canucks in the first round (24th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
The Penguins now own five selections in the 2019 NHL Draft:
|Round||# of Picks|
*The Penguins own the Buffalo Sabres’ pick. The Sabres’ pick is conditional and could become a third-round pick if certain conditions are met.
**The Pens own the Vegas Golden Knights’ selection in addition to Pittsburgh’s own choice.
By Harrison Brown