Pittsburgh Penguins Acquire Jason Zucker via Trade With Minnesota Wild

With the trade deadline less than two weeks away on Monday, February 24, the Pittsburgh Penguins decided to jump the gun and make a trade. They have decided to acquire forward Jason Zucker from the Minnesota Wild for Alex Galchenyuk, a 2020 first-round pick, and defenseman prospect Calen Addison.

Zucker is 28 years old. He will be owed $5.5 million each season and will have three more years left on his contract. In 45 games played so far this season with Minnesota, he has scored 14 goals and has recorded 15 assists. His plus/minus is -3.

Jason Zucker has played his entire career with the Wild. He was the 59th overall pick by Minnesota in the 2010 NHL Draft. In 456 career games so far, Zucker has scored 132 goals and 111 assists. His plus/minus is 21.

He could very well play in his first game for Pittsburgh on Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

I am also curious to see which line Head Coach Mike Sullivan decides to put him on. He could very well go on a line with Sidney Crosby right away.

The lines, for now, would look like this because of some of the injuries they are dealing with: Jared McCann-Sidney Crosby-Jason Zucker, Bryan RustEvgeni MalkinPatric Hornqvist, Zach Aston-ReeseTeddy BluegerBrandon Tanev, and Dominik SimonSam LaffertyAnthony Angello.

When Jake Guentzel, Dominik Kahun, and Nick Bjugstad all get healthy, I would expect Lafferty, Angello, and either Simon or Aston-Reese to be out of the lineup.

The four lines would like this when everyone is healthy: Jared McCann-Sidney Crosby-Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust-Evgeni Malkin-Patric Hornqvist, Dominik Kahun-Nick Bjugstad-Jason Zucker, and Zach Aston-Reese-Teddy Blueger-Brandon Tanev.

The defensive pairings when everyone is healthy will be Kris Letang and John Marino, Brian Dumoulin and Jack Johnson, and Marcus Pettersson and Justin Schultz.

Alex Galchenyuk only scored five goals and recorded 12 assists, in 45 games so far this season with Pittsburgh. His plus/minus so far this season is -7.

Galchenyuk was not a good fit with the Penguins and he was acquired in a trade this past offseason for Phil Kessel. Alex Galchenyuk is 25 years old and he will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Calen Addison is only 19 years old. He was the 53rd overall pick (second round) in the 2018 NHL Draft. Addison has a lot of potential to be a top defenseman in the NHL. He is a solid skater, puck possession player, and defender.

Calen Addison is currently playing for the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL. He has played in 19 games for them so far this season. Addison has scored 10 goals and has recorded 33 assists so far this season. His plus/minus is 8.

It was interesting that Addison was a part of this deal. He may not even be in the NHL for a couple of years anyways. This was a solid trade by General Manager Bill Guerin. He used to be in the Pittsburgh Penguins front office alongside Pittsburgh’s General Manager Jim Rutherford.

The Minnesota Wild (26-23-6 record with 58 points so far this season) is currently in sixth place in the Central Division and they will be on the outside looking in.

Minnesota is currently 15 points back of the St. Louis Blues (32-15-9 record with 73 points so far this season) for first place in the Central Division.

The Wild are also five points back of the Winnipeg Jets (29-23-5 record with 63 points so far this season) for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Pittsburgh Penguins (34-15-5 record with 73 points so far this season) are currently in second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Pittsburgh is currently four points back of the Washington Capitals (36-15-5 record with 77 points so far this season) for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Penguins hope to make it to the playoffs for the 14th consecutive year and win another Stanley Cup title for the third time in five years. Pittsburgh has not won it all since going back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. We will see what happens moving forward because this trade could potentially benefit both the Minnesota Wild and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the long run.

How do you feel about the Pittsburgh Penguins’ new acquisition? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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