The Florida Panthers made their first move of the trade deadline period, and it was sending away draft picks to acquire players – not the other way around that you might think a team might do in their situation.
For a third round pick in 2014, and a fifth round pick in 2016 the Panthers added center from the Chicago Blackhawks, Brandon Pirri.
Pirri, 22, was the second round pick of the Blackhawks in 2009 – when current Panthers’ general Manager Dale Tallon was the general manager in Chicago. Pirri has become one of the more prolific point producers in the American Hockey League, leading the league in scoring last year with 75.
In 238-career AHL games, Pirri has registered 68-goals and 132-assists. In 35-games with Chicago Pirri has 13-points (6 G, 7A).
With the depth of their NHL team, it has been hard for Pirri to find playing time with the Blackhawks – even harder when your head coach has this opinion of you.
Hawks trade Brandon Pirri to Panthers for 2 draft picks. Quenneville never liked Pirri b/c of his defense. Led AHL in scoring last season.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) March 3, 2014
For Florida, this is a great move and shows that they indeed are not going to roll over and give in the rest of the season. Pirri, while unproven, gives the Panthers an element they are missing. With Brad Boyes the only player on pace to top 20-goals, Florida can use as many players with the offensive upside Pirri has.
At 22-years old and not even a full season worth of NHL-action, there is plenty yet to see out of Pirri and should be a part of the Panthers’ future plans.
Since the Panthers have decided they are not going to be sellers at the deadline, this is the perfect trade for where they are at as an organization. Don’t be surprised if this is the first of a few trades leading up to the Wednesday deadline.
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