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Penguins add some firepower with Rickard Rakell acquisition

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired some more firepower as the team gears up for another genuine pursuit of the Stanley Cup.

Pittsburgh received forward Rickard Rakell from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Zach Aston-Reese, Dominik Simon, goalie prospect Calle Clang and 2022 second-round pick. Rakell has recorded 16 goals and 28 points in 51 games this season.

The 28-year-old power forward has been speculated to have been on the trade market for years as he can play on either wing or at center, provide top-six scoring value and is a physically imposing forward who has proven extremely difficult to box out in front of the net.

The Penguins have acquired some more firepower up front as the team gears up for another Cup run. (Getty)
The Penguins have acquired one more weapon as the team gears up for another Cup run. (Getty)

Some may view Rakell as a rental as he’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, but with the Penguins’ core well into their mid-30s, it’s likely Pittsburgh will try to ink him to a long-term deal this summer. He is currently dealing with a wrist injury, but Rakell will immediately factor into Pittsburgh’s top-nine upon returning to the lineup, and provide further lineup flexibility among the forward corps.

Although his raw output has declined this season, Rakell notched consecutive 30-goal seasons with the Ducks in 2017 and 2018, and he ought to immediately benefit from superior linemates.

While a number of the Ducks top prospects — notably Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale — have graduated to the NHL, the club is still undergoing a rebuild and it’s likely that Rakell, who is nearing the end of his prime years, didn’t factor into their long-term plans.

Rakell reportedly had a number of suitors, including the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers.

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