Photo: The Score
The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired left-wing Reilly Smith from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a 2024 third-round pick on Wednesday. The 30-year-old has two seasons left on a contract that counts $5 million against the NHL salary cap.
Reilly Smith, acquired by PIT, is a well-rounded offensive winger who contributes off the rush and plays on both special teams. Not a particularly great finisher. #LetsGoPens pic.twitter.com/xxeY1nbZLk
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) June 28, 2023
Smith’s 26 goals during the 2022-23 regular season were just three behind the Vegas lead. He also earned 56 points and ranked fifth among his team’s forwards with an average of 2:01 power-play time-on-ice per game in addition to third with an average of 1:18 while shorthanded.
Smith has tallied at least 25 goals in a season three times during his 11-season NHL career and 50 points six.
During 22 postseason games in Vegas’ run to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, Smith recorded four goals and 14 points in 22 games.
In 764 career regular-season games with Vegas, the Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, and Dallas Stars, Smith, who was traded to Vegas by Florida during the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, has collected 200 goals and 473 points.
Pittsburgh makes the acquisition of Smith, who could very well play on their second line with center Evgeni Malkin and gives the team a much needed top-six forward, after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2006 this past Spring despite Crosby (93 points) and center Evgeni Malkin (83) not slowing down. They ranked 16th in goals-per-game (3.18), 14th in power-play efficiency (21.7%), and 16th in penalty killing (79.1%), all areas where Smith could help.
Pittsburgh currently has $15,208,158 remaining in NHL salary cap space with 16 players signed for the 2023-24 season. Vegas has $3,462,516 with 20 after re-signing left-wing Ivan Barbashev to a five-year contract that counts $5 million against the cap on Wednesday.
The pick Vegas received was the one that they sent to Pittsburgh to acquire center Teddy Blueger on March 1.
By Harrison Brown