TSN’S Darren Dreger reports via Twitter the Edmonton Oilers have dealt winger David Perron to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a first-round pick in 2015 and center Rob Klinkhammer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perron’s been on the trade block since November, though at the time the Oilers were in the market for a second-line center. It’s apparent their needs have changed as their playoff chances died in December. It’s a good return for the Oilers, which they can use for themselves or as a bargaining chip for another deal. Klinkhammer isn’t a second-line center but has good size (6’3″, 220 lbs) and should be a decent addition to their checking lines, especially given recent speculation claiming the Oilers could soon return young Leon Draisaitl to the WHL for the remainder of this season.
Perron, 26, is a former three-time 20-plus goalscorer who also reached the 50-point mark twice, including a career-high 57 points last season. He currently has five goals and 19 points in 38 games. Expect his numbers to improve with the talented Penguins, who made this move both to address their longstanding need for an additional top-six winger and to bolster a lineup plagued of late by injuries and illness.
I confess I’m surprised the Penguins opted to part with a first-round pick in a draft which is supposedly a deep one, but Perron is signed through 2015-16 at a reasonable annual cap hit of over $3.812 million. Given the Penguins are currently among this season’s top teams, that pick will likely be in the bottom of the first round. If Perron regains his offensive touch and proves a worthwhile addition for the Penguins, it could be worth giving up that first-round pick.