The Trade’s Role in Stealing “Turbo”
When asked about the trade, Francis cited Saarela as a “guy they really liked” and someone they felt was going to be apart of the solution here in Raleigh. The 2015 third rounder was known to be a dynamic threat in the offensive zone with one of the best, if not the best, wrist shots from his draft year. Playing in the Finnish Elite League at the time, he was putting up decent numbers against men as a teenager.
In addition to the sought after forward prospect, they also picked up two second round draft selections, one in the upcoming 2016 draft and another in 2017. With these picks the opportunity to build up a prospect pool of elite young talent was key for this deal to work out for the Hurricanes.
Staal’s time with the Rangers was both short lived and underwhelming, signing with the Minnesota Wild after putting up just six points in 25 games. The Hurricanes, on the other hand indirectly made out alright, flipping one of the picks they acquired in the trade for a key member of their current forward core, Teuvo Teravainen.
While the Hurricanes would end up using one of the second round draft picks they acquired, selecting right shot defenseman Luke Martin 52nd overall in 2017, they would end up moving the Rangers’ 2016 second rounder to Chicago just a few month after receiving it.
At a time where the Hurricanes were starting to take advantage of cap strapped teams, they stole 21 year old Teravainen in a deal where they took on Bryan Bickell and his four million dollar cap hit for one season. Since they were taking on a cap dump, they only had to send two picks Chicago’s way, the aforementioned 2016 second rounder from New York and a 2017 third rounder.
The Blackhawks would go on to select Russian winger Artur Kayumov with the 2016 second rounder, but the third had a history of being traded and would end up being on the move again. Before sending the pick back to Chicago, the Hurricanes actually came in possession of their 2017 third rounder back in September 2015.