The Florida Panthers have been quite as of late but partook in quite the exchange with Pittsburgh, dealing a couple of solid pieces.
On Friday, Feb. 1, it was announced that the Florida Panthers had acquired forwards Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan, as well as three other draft picks in exchange for forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann.
More specifically, the draft picks that were obtained were a 2019 2nd round pick, a 2019 4th round pick, as well as an additional 2019 4th round pick which was previously owned by the Minnesota Wild.
Starting with Nick Bjugstad, the native of Minnesota took part in seven seasons with the Cats, originally drafted back in 2010 (19th overall).
This season, Bjugstad has featured in 32 games, posting a slash line of 5G, 7A, for 12 points. He faced a long-term injury which kept him out of the lineup for just over a month, turning out to be more serious than originally expected.
Referred to as “Big Nick” from Panthers fans, Bjugstad was notorious for using his large frame to outmuscle opponents, using it as a leverage to get in on goal.
Some of his more memorable goals came by using his large stature, something Nick utilized earlier on in his career.
To take a flashback, the 2014-15 campaign was some of the best hockey we’ve seen from Big Nick in his career to date. He recorded 24G, 19A, and 43 points, ending as the Panthers’ scoring leader during that season.
Additionally, his career high came in 2017-18, where he tallied a solid line of 19G, 30A, for 49 points in 82 games. That season marked the first in his career where he took part in every game, ultimately avoiding the injury bug.
Moving on to Jared McCann, the 22-year-old from Stratford, Ontario, was acquired back in 2016 in a deal that saw defenseman Erik Gudbranson head the opposite way.
Since arriving to Florida, McCann has presented himself as a reliable bottom-six player who can play just about anywhere on the ice.
This season, in 46 games, the left-handed centerman has a line of 8G, 10A, for 18 points. In addition, he’s featured heavily on the penalty kill, molding his game into more of a two-way style.
During the previous season (2017-18), McCann experienced his best campaign to date, recording career highs in assists (19) and points (28).
Coming to Florida in the other part of the deal, 31-year-old Derick Brassard brings a colorful resume to Sunrise.
His best years came in the Big Apple, where he closed out the 2014-15 campaign with a 60-point season (19G & 41A). The following year (2015-16), he fell just two points short of the 60 point plateau.
Like Brassard, forward Riley Sheahan is also Canadian born, starting his NHL journey with the Detroit Red Wings. He’s played in Motor City for seven years, putting up some respectable numbers.
In October of 2017, Sheahan was dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins, spending a year and a half with the former Stanley Cup champions.
In his first season with the Penguins (2017-18), Sheahan came close to matching his career high in points (36), concluding the year with 32 points in 73 games (11G & 21A).
This season, however, Sheahan has experienced quite the drop-off in his play, only showcasing 7G, 2A, and 9 points in 49 games.
Also arriving to Florida as apart of the deal, the Panthers receive a 2019 2nd round draft pick, which makes up for their 2nd round pick that they lost back in the summer.
As well, the Cats are also receiving two 4th round picks that are to be used in this year’s draft. One of the two picks that were acquired was previously owned by the Minnesota Wild, while the other was the Penguins’ own.
On top of all of that, both Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan are on expiring deals, set to hit the open market this summer.
That obviously gives the Florida Panthers a lot of room in cap space to pursue alternative options through the UFA market.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the deal that GM Dale Tallon just pulled off. I know I do! Be sure to like us on Facebook if you haven’t. As well, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep up with the Florida Panthers.