Kapanen traded to Penguins from Maple Leafs as part of six-player deal

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Kasperi Kapanen was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins by the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of a six-player deal that also included Toronto acquiring Pittsburgh’s first-round selection (No. 15) in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Forward Pontus Aberg and defenseman Jesper Lindgren were also traded to the Penguins, while the Maple Leafs received forwards Evan Rodrigues and Filip Hallander and defenseman David Warsofsky.

Kapanen, a 24-year-old forward, scored 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists) in 69 games this season, and had two assists for the Maple Leafs when they lost in five games to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. He has 90 points (41 goals, 49 assists) in 202 NHL games, as well as seven points (four goals, three assists) in 25 postseason games.

His best NHL season came in 2018-19, when he scored 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists) in 78 games. He has two seasons remaining on a three-year, $9.6 million contract ($3.2 million average annual value) he signed with the Maple Leafs on June 28, 2019.

The Penguins drafted Kapanen, the son of former NHL forward Sami Kapanen, in the first round (No. 22) of the 2014 NHL Draft. He was acquired by the Maple Leafs on July 1, 2015, in a trade that sent forward Phil Kessel to the Penguins.

“Kasperi is a good, young player that brings speed to our lineup and plays the way we want to play,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. “Having previously drafted him, we know him as a player and feel he can improve our top-6. Aberg and Lindgren are both young players that will further add to our organizational depth.”

Aberg, who turns 27 on Sept. 23, had one assist in five games this season with the Maple Leafs, his fifth NHL team. He has 44 points (17 goals, 27 assists) in 132 NHL games with the Maple Leafs, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators, who selected him in the second round (No. 37) of the 2012 NHL Draft. Aberg spent most of this season with Toronto of the American Hockey League, scoring 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists) in 55 games.

Lindgren was Toronto’s fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. The 23-year-old had nine points (one goal, eight assists) in 31 games with Toronto of the AHL this season.

Rodrigues, a 27-year-old who was acquired by the Penguins in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 24, had one goal in seven games with Pittsburgh after scoring nine points (five goals, four assists) in 38 games with the Sabres. He has 72 points (27 goals, 45 assists) in 199 NHL games and can become a restricted free agent after this season.

Hallander was Pittsburgh’s second-round pick (No. 58) in the 2018 NHL Draft. The 20-year-old scored 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 27 games for Lulea of the Swedish Hockey League this season. 

Warsofsky has not played in the NHL since 2017-18, when he had five assists in 16 games with the Colorado Avalanche. The 30-year-old, who had 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists) in 51 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL this season, has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 55 NHL games with the Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, Avalanche and Penguins.

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