PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The NHL Draft got underway at Consol Energy Center Friday night and it didn’t take long for General Manager Ray Shero to set off some fireworks in front of the home crowd.
It had long been speculated that the Penguins might trade Jordan Staal at the Draft if they felt they were not going to be able to sign him to a long-term extension.
On Thursday, reports leaked out that Staal had rejected a 10-year $60 million offer from the Penguins.
The rumors began to swirl as the Penguins watched their season go up in flames in the first round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Reports indicated that Staal wanted an expanded role and would like to join his brother, Eric, in Carolina.
On Friday and with Carolina on the clock with the No. 8 pick, Shero struck a deal to trade Staal to the Hurricanes.
In exchange, the Penguins received Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and Carolina’s No. 8 pick, which they used to select defenseman Derrick Pouliot from the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks.
Sutter, 23, will likely step in and fill the third line center void that Staal leaves behind. In 82 games with the Hurricanes last season, Sutter scored 17 goals and added 15 assists.
Dumolin was selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft by the Hurricanes and played collegiate hockey at Boston College.
Pouliot, 18, is highly regarded as an offensively-gifted defenseman who can be the quarterback on the power play.
Later in the evening, the Penguins elected to hold onto their No. 22 overall pick and selected Olli Maatta of the OHL’s London Knights.
According to the Penguins’ official website, Maata led all OHL rookie defensemen with 32 points (five goals, 27 assists) in 58 games. During their OHL championship run this season, Maata was tied for the team lead in points with 23 (six goals, 17 assists).
However, Shero and the Penguins were not done there.
Shortly after the Los Angeles Kings made the final pick of the first round, Shero reached a deal to send defenseman Zbynek Michalek to Phoenix.
In exchange, the Penguins received defenseman Harrison Ruopp, goaltender Marc Cheverie and Phoenix’s third round pick (No. 81 overall) in this year’s draft.
Prior to signing in Pittsburgh after the 2009-10 season, Michalek had spent five years with the Coyotes.
Ruopp, 19, was takenin the third round of the 2011 Draft by Phoenix and played for the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders this year.
Cheverie, 25, split time between Gwinnett of the ECHL and the Portland Pirates in the AHL this past season.
Rounds two through seven of the Draft will be held on Saturday.
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