The Pittsburgh Penguins Have Traded Their First Round Draft Pick For the Return of a Former First Round Draft Pick And More

By Austin Shaw

It’s not unusual for the Penguins GM to trade away a first round draft pick. GMJR has done it yet again and arguably for the better. The Penguins have traded their 2020 first round pick along with forward Evan Rodrigues, David Warsofsky and prospect Filip Hallander to Toronto. In return, the Penguins receive their first round pick from 2014, Kasperi Kapanen along with prospects Pontus Aberg and Jesper Lindgren.

Kapanen was apart of the 2015 trade with Toronto in which the Penguins received Phil Kessel who was a huge part in the 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup titles.

Here is a look at the Penguins first round picks since 2006 along with what some of those trades lead to. Thanks to colleague Joe Smeltzer for putting the tweet together.

This trade is low risk in my opinion. Yeah the Pens are giving away another first round pick, but sometimes they pay off. Hagelin and Kessel both were huge in those two cup runs. Also look at players like Guentzel, Rust and Sheary; Guentzel went 77th overall in 2013, Rust went 80th in 2010 and Sheary went undrafted. The Penguins tend to find their depth, deep in drafts. They haven’t had much first round success since they got Flower, Geno and Sid in consecutive years.

Just to clarify, Toronto doesn’t need this first round pick. They’re clearing up cap space. Kapanen is a $3.2 Million cap hit which isn’t terrible for the Penguins. I think they Pens move Sheary again this summer. It’s absolutely possible that we will see Kapanen on the first line with Sid and Guentzel.

It’s obvious a rebuild is in the rearview mirror, but I’d be more than content with Sid winning one more cup and then the Penguins to go on a 5-10 year drought. That’s the cycle of professional sports. Don’t believe me? Check and see how the Detroit Red Wings is doing.

Either way, I’m going into next season with low expectations. I’m just hoping they stay healthy all season and make the playoffs. Let’s Go Pens. COMON.

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