Although initially reported to be available for Sunday afternoon’s game, Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal won’t be skating out with his teammates against the St. Louis Blues in a few hours.
Instead, he’ll be getting ready to head to New York, where he’ll join his brother Marc on the New York Rangers.
The Rangers dealt two second round picks and prospect Aleksi Saarela to the Hurricanes in exchange for the eldest Staal brother, who could be headed to the Metropolitan Division club with as much as half of his salary retained by the club sending him out. (Per Elliotte Friedman, Carolina will indeed retain fifty percent of his $8.25 million cap hit moving forward)
Drafted second overall by the Hurricanes in 2003, Eric Staal has played his entire pro career within the Carolina organization; with the exception of the 2004-05 lockout year, the Hurricanes are the only club he’s skated with since graduating from the OHL’s Peterborough Petes in 2003. He’s amassed 322 goals and 775 points over just 909 career NHL games, which puts the forward first in scoring among his particular draft class, and he boasts 10 goals and 33 of those points this year.
Heading back from the Rangers are two second round picks and Finnish centre Aleksi Saarela, drafted by New York in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The 19 year old forward is having an excellent year with SM-liiga’s Assat Pori club, boasting 18 goals and 31 points over just 46 games to sit second in scoring on his current club.