Jordan Staal is off to Carolina

The first blockbuster of the offseason has happened at the draft as Jordan Staal is off to the Carolina Hurricanes. In return the Penguins will be getting Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the eighth pick which they used to select Derrick Pouliot of the Portland Winterhawks.

The trade is a positive for both teams as they serve different purposes.

The key piece here is obviously Jordan Staal who gives Carolina another elite player to line up alongside Jeff Skinner and his brother, Eric. He’ll get a chance to finally move out from the shadow of Crosby and Malkin and be relied upon as a big producer. All in all, Carolina ought to be a good place for him to blossom into the role we constantly speculate he’s capable of.

Brandon Sutter is a useful player who should slide in very well into the third line center role vacated by Staal after the trade. He scored 17 goals on a terrible Carolina team and should be able to contribute in a secondary role from the bottom six in Pittsburgh.

Brian Dumoulin is a very highly touted prospect out of the Carolina system and had a good year with Boston College. In The Hockey News’ Future Watch, Dumoulin was ranked as the third best prospect in the Hurricanes’ system by scouts and hockey executives behind Ryan Murphy and Zac Dalpe. Dumoulin is projected to make the leap to the NHL in 2012-13. He is a very good prospect for Pittsburgh to acquire here.

Pouliot is an interesting case because many folks had him slipping late into the first round, but Pittsburgh ultimately took advantage of the leap to grab him. Given Pouliot’s offensive skillset it wouldn’t be surprising if this was a move Ray Shero was looking to make to ensure they had additional offensive defensemen in the system for when it’s time to make a decision on Kris Letang, much like they had to make with Jordan Staal.

The Pens had Letang come in and pick up the slack from Sergei Gonchar and it appears that they want to keep the chain going while adding to the system at-large.

There is no clear cut winner in this deal, just two teams improving in different ways.

What do you think of the swap?