LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Jared Staal #22 of the Phoenix Coyotes warms up before the preseason NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on September 22, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The Kings defeated the Coyotes 6-4.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

At first glance, it might appear that the Phoenix Coyotes did Carolina a favour by trading the younger brother of team captain Eric Staal to the Hurricanes for nothing more than a fifth round pick, but if anything the opposite is true.

 

When the Coyotes drafted Jared Staal in 2008, it was a reach.  I doubt Staal would have gone in the first two rounds except for the fact that he shared a last name with two of the NHL’s best young players – brothers Eric and Marc Staal.  Change his name to “John Smith” and watch his number slip.

 

It wasn’t that Staal’s draft numbers were bad, just that they weren’t terribly good.  And the sad truth is that they’ve gotten worse.  In his draft year, Staal scored 21 goals.  That shrunk to 19 last year and 12 this year.  His point total jumped from 49 to 52 and dropped back to 49 this year.  I don’t need to tell anyone that 49 points as a 19-year old is pretty unimpressive.

 

Of course, the Coyotes weren’t in a great spot now, either.  Had they decided not to re-sign Staal, he would have re-entered the draft and they would have lost him for nothing.  By dealing him to Carolina for a fifth round pick they ensure some sort of return. 

 

For Carolina, it’s a fairly low cost to bring in the brother of their team captain, and there’s always the chance that Staal emerges in the same system as his brother.