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Picking Up Pirri

Panthers trade two draft picks for young center from Chicago.

Monday, 03.3.2014 / 10:30 AM ET / News
By "Hockey Pat" McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Picking Up Pirri
Panthers trade two draft picks for young center from Chicago.
Center Brandon Pirri skates with the puck in a game for the Blackhawks (Getty Images)

The Florida Panthers jumped into the trade deadline fray on Sunday evening when they announced a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks for 22-year-old center Brandon Pirri. In exchange for Pirri, the Panthers sent the Blackhawks two draft picks, a third-rounder in 2014 and a fifth-rounder in 2016.

The two draft picks seem like a small price to pay for the 6’0” center who has been one of the Blackhawks’ top prospects ever since he was drafted in the second round (59th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

"Brandon is a young and talented player who we are extremely pleased to have acquired," said Panthers’ General Manager Dale Tallon, "He has experienced tremendous success on the American Hockey League level, being named MVP of the All-Star game and winning the league's scoring title. Pirri further adds to our depth at center along with Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad and Drew Shore. We look forward to his contributions to our team."

With the acquisition, Tallon has managed to bring in a massively talented young player while giving up very little in the deal. Pirri has the potential to become a top-six forward and by only giving up the two later round draft picks, the Panthers succeeded in bringing in Pirri without giving up any young assets of their own.

Pirri has played in 28 games with the Blackhawks this season tallying 11 points (6-5-11). He has also played in 26 games with the Blackhawks’ minor league affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, where he was a point-per-game-player with 11 goals and 15 assists while also being named the MVP of the AHL All-Star game.

With the addition of Pirri the Panthers have added another talented young center to their already staggeringly deep crop of players at the position. The Panthers now have four NHL quality centers under the age of 23; Drew Shore (23), Pirri (22), Nick Bjugstad (21) and Aleksander Barkov (18). He will also join F Jimmy Hayes and D Dylan Olsen as players who started the season in the Chicago organization before coming over to the Panthers via trade.

Pirri, like Olsen and Hayes, is a player with NHL-caliber ability who was blocked from NHL playing time by the mass of talent on the Blackhawks roster. With the move to the Panthers, it appears that Pirri will have an opportunity to compete at the NHL level.

The Panthers have been adamant about their trade-deadline intentions. They will not be moving any of their young cornerstones but they will certainly listen to any deals that can improve the team moving forward. The acquisition of Pirri is definitely one of those deals as it makes a team that was already strong down the middle even stronger.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 74 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 76 8 33 -4 41
B. Boyes 74 13 23 10 36
A. Ekblad 76 11 24 10 35
J. Hayes 67 18 14 -6 32
A. Barkov 66 14 17 -3 31
B. Campbell 77 3 23 2 26
B. Pirri 44 21 2 6 23
D. Bolland 48 5 16 1 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 18 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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