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The biggest trade of the draft weekend saw the Pittsburgh Penguins trade center Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the eighth overall pick in the draft.
Staal is a very talented two-way center who wasn't getting the ice time he deserved in Pittsburgh playing behind superstars Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. He's a big, physical center who is responsible defensively and had a very impressive showing in the playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers this year.
He is an instant upgrade to the Hurricanes' offense, probably playing on the second line behind his brother Eric Staal. Having two star centers is great for any team and it should help make the Hurricanes a force in the coming seasons after some of the other talent further develops.
The Penguins say goodbye to their third-line center. Although his role was much more important than that title suggests, they'll be able to make do without him. They should be able to use Brandon Sutter in the same role as Staal, although he probably won't be as effective.
They also grabbed a former second round pick in Dumoulin. A 6'3 defenseman, he should make it to the NHL in a season or two as he continues to develop. That, in combination with the eighth overall pick from this trade that they used on defenseman Derrick Pouliot, should help Pittsburgh's defense down the road.
The Penguins save almost $2 million in cap space through this deal, which should help them in their quest to add a big free agent this offseason.
This trade seems like a better deal for Carolina, at least in the short term, as they get the best player involved. The Penguins acquired two good prospects and a decent checking center, as well as clearing some cap space. If Staal didn't want to play in Pittsburgh, they got a very good deal for a player who didn't want to be there. Win-win for both teams if that was the case.