To say that certain aspects of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ game has been off lately is an understatement. There is far too much reliance on the first line of Bryan Rust, Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. Other than that, the only other player that has consistently scored is Evgeni Malkin. The wingers have been underperforming, which could lead to the Penguins in the hunt for some new talent.
In the 2015 NHL entry draft, the Vancouver Canucks selected Brock Boeser at 23rd overall. Despite being on a relatively poor team for the entirety of his career, he’s been one of their brightest stars. In 305 total games in the NHL, he has accumulated a total of 115 goals and 244 points. His best year was during the 2018-2019 season where he put up 26 goals and 56 points.
Boeser has been the rumor of trades for some time now, but he seems to be a very viable trade target for the Pittsburgh Penguins. If there’s one thing the organization needs, it is a reliable winger for the second line. Fans can imagine the damage that he’d do on Malkin’s wing. However, there’s always the problem of the asking price.
While there hasn’t been that much news about Boeser and what Vancouver’s asking price would be, anybody can imagine that it’d be quite a lot. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Vancouver ask for defenseman John Marino or prospect Pierre-Olivier Joseph and a draft pick. If there was one trade that could very well happen, it could be Brock Boeser for John Marino, Kasperi Kapanen and a 2022 first round pick.
If the Penguins decide to go a cheaper route, then they could target Rickard Rakell. The Anaheim Ducks chose Rakell 30th overall in the 2011 NHL entry draft. Since then, he’s had a pretty underrated career when considering his performance. He’s played 548 games with 154 goals and 339 points. His best year was during the 2017-2018 season where he scored a whopping 34 goals and 64 points.
He is very similar to current Penguins’ forward Jason Zucker. Prior to joining the Penguins, Zucker was putting up very similar numbers. Now, if the Penguins were to acquire Rakell, he would ideally pan out a lot better than Zucker has. Regardless, the Penguins desperately need better wingers, and it looks like Rakell could provide that.
Again, if a trade were to happen with the Ducks, they’d certainly want some younger players. It wouldn’t be shocking if they asked for prospect Nathan Legare and a second-round pick. However, Rakell is a pending unrestricted free agent, so he would likely only be a rental. It’s hard to speculate what Pittsburgh’s management wants to do at this point in time. What is certain is that the team is underperforming and just the right addition could propel their game to another level.
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