Analysis: Eric Staal traded to the Rangers
As the Hurrianes fell further and further out of playoff contention, it became more clear that Eric Staal would be traded by the February 29th deadline. That happened on Sunday, about 26 hours before the deadline hit.
The Hurricanes did not receive star prospect Pavel Buchnevich in the trade with the Rangers, however they did get forward prospect Aleksi Saarela and two second round picks. Saarela is a good two way player with 31 points in 46 games in the SM-Liiga this year. He was formerly a third round pick (2015) by the Rangers.
Staal was the third captain to be traded this year, with Andrew Ladd and Dion Phaneuf prior. Staal has struggled recently in Carolina, but he still has 33 points in 63 games and Stanley Cup experience. Eric will join his brother Marc in the Big Apple.
I like this trade for both teams, but I’ll give the edge to Carolina. The Eric Staal era was over. They got a good prospect in Saarela, as well as two picks in the top-60 that they can use to improve their team or improve their prospect pool.
The Rangers window is closing, so this deal does make sense in part. Staal still has the ability, whether or not he can hone it is the question. If he can return to a .75 to 1.0 point-per-game pace, the Rangers will be set up nicely. They need to win within the next two years though, because their prospect pool is extremely weak.