Penguins Lose Twice in the Expansion Draft

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 15: Pittsburgh Penguins Defenceman Marcus Pettersson (28) and Pittsburgh Penguins Center Jared McCann (19) congratulate Pittsburgh Penguins Left Wing Brandon Tanev (13) for scoring a goal during the first period of a National Hockey League game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers on January 15,2021, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins went into the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft losing two players in the process. The first came via a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs just four days earlier where they sent forward Jared McCann to Toronto for a salary cap dump and the return of their own 2018 2nd round pick Filip Hallander. McCann then left unprotected by Toronto was selected by the Kraken. During the draft, the Penguins would then lose high energy depth winger Brandon Tanev who was taken by the Kraken.

In essence, the Penguins lost more than any other team in the draft in terms of value and for Seattle, they receive two solid depth players who bring high energy and can put up points. This past season saw McCann tie his career high in goals (14) with 20+ less games played with all signs pointing towards that trajectory continuing upward. In Tanev, they get a player who hits everything and anything on the ice and routinely nets north of 20 points (last season adjusted)

The losses for the Penguins allow them to save $6.4 million in salary which they desperately need but leaves them little to no room for any improvements on the roster. Most notably the glaring issue in goal will more than likely not be resolved from outside the organization and the hopes still rest on unproven netminders of Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith.

Any expectations of a splash acquisition or fancy move from Ron Hextall and company is highly unlikely at this point. For the Penguins, the loss of both players will put into test the depth and push discussions of lineup ability of 2019 first round pick Sam Poulin and returning prospect Hallander. Whether those two or others further down the depth chart can provide any sense of replication of what either McCann or Tanev bring to the table remains to be seen.

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