The Nashville Predators are continuing their fire sale, as they have traded Mikael Granlund to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick.
The #Preds have acquired a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Mikael Granlund.@celerocommerce | #Preds https://t.co/a7nxtib0lC— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) March 2, 2023
Granlund’s name recently emerged in the rumor mill after the Predators made it known that they are set to be full-on sellers at the deadline. Now, 31-year-old has a new home with the Penguins, and he will be aiming to make a big impact for them during the final stretch of the season.
Penguins Improve Top Six With Granlund
One of the Penguins’ biggest objectives at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline was to add a top-six forward to their group. Now, with this move for Granlund, they have done just that. Although the Predators have struggled this season, Granlund has quietly been putting up another solid campaign. In 58 games on the year, he has nine goals to go along with 27 assists. Yet, now that he is joining a Penguins team with better weapons, his point totals could improve.
Granlund offers great versatility, as he can play all three forward positions. As a result, the Penguins have several options for him in their lineup. Yet, when looking at their current group, it is fair to argue that Granlund should play left wing on their second line with Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust. Granlund’s excellent playmaking ability should certainly make him mesh well with those two scoring forwards. With that, Granlund plays a strong two-way game, so he should be in the running to play on both the Penguins’ power play and penalty kill.
Related: 2023 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker
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Granlund will be far more than just a rental for the Penguins, too, as he carries a $5 million cap hit until the end of the 2024-25 season. Due to this, he is expected to be a key part of their roster moving forward.
Predators Continue to Sell
The Predators have been one of the NHL’s biggest sellers over the last week. They already traded Mattias Ekholm, Nino Niederreiter and Tanner Jeannot, and now Granlund is the latest to be moved. Through these transactions, the Predators have been primarily landing draft picks, and it makes sense given the team’s desire to retool. Thus, it is not surprising to see that the Predators have landed a second-round pick for Granlund.
Overall, this is a decent return for Granlund. Although the Predators would have loved a first-round pick for the veteran forward, the Predators will still benefit from adding this second-rounder. Keep in mind, it is a 2023 second-round pick, and this year’s draft class is extremely deep. Therefore, the Predators could land themselves a quality prospect with it.
The Predators have made it clear that they are open for business, and we should expect to see other players moved because of it. Some other Predators who could be dealt the same fate as Granlund include Dante Fabbro, Kevin Lankinen, Yakov Trenin, Colton Sissons, and Yakov Trenin. Perhaps even newcomer Tyson Barrie could be moved for the right price, as he is another veteran player who may not fit into Nashville’s current plan.
Nevertheless, this is a good move for both teams. The Penguins have improved their forward group as they aim to make another playoff run, while the Predators have secured another solid draft pick. It will be intriguing to see how Granlund produces playing with excellent players like Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and Jake Guentzel.