The first one came on Friday, when it was announced that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jordan Staal would be joining his brother, Eric, in Carolina. Just a day after turning down a 10-year contract extension, Jordan was traded to the Hurricanes in exchange for the No. 8 overall pick in the draft, center Brandon Sutter and defenseman Brian Dumoulin.
Both teams won with this trade. The Pens picked up a promising young centerman in Sutter, and with that No. 8 pick, they were also able to draft Portland Winterhawks defenseman Derrick Pouliot. As for the ‘Canes, adding another Staal brother to their team meets the club’s offseason expectations of adding a big-time player. Jordan can play effectively in all three zones, can contribute on both the power play and the penalty kill and he has Stanley Cup experience. Furthermore, it can be argued that we have yet to see his full potential since he was so often relegated to the third line behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
The other big trade of the weekend came after the final name was called on Day 2 of the draft. The Toronto Maple Leafs dealt defeseman Luke Schenn to join his younger brother Brayden in Philadelphia in exchange for forward James van Riemsdyk.
Needless to say, Luke was ecstatic about joining a playoff team and teaming up with his brother.
“It’s just surreal right now,” Luke Schenn said after the deal. “It’s going to be exciting to play with my brother, that’s for sure. I can’t describe how cool this is.”
With the future still a mystery for Flyers captain Chris Pronger, who was sidelined by a career-threatening head injury early this past season, the Flyers added a big physical defenseman in Schenn to potentially fill that void.
“He’s a young guy, he’s a right-[handed] shot, he’s a big defenseman that plays physical and gritty, and he can move the puck,” Holmgren said. “To get guys like this you’ve got to be picking high in the draft. It’s an opportunity for us…and obviously James [van Riemsdyk] was taken high in the draft too. It’s another reason I believe why it’s a good trade for both teams.”