Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 8:08am


The Florida Panthers acquired center Brandon Pirri from the Chicago Blackhawks for a third-round draft pick in 2014 and a fifth-round draft pick in 2016.

What does it give the Florida Panthers
This is somewhat of a coup for Florida GM {B Dale Tallon} and his Panthers. Tallon was in charge of the Blackhawks' draft in 2009 when they selected Pirri (No. 59 overall that year), and in Pirri he gets a slick, talented and fairly NHL-ready young pivot with some star potential. Pirri was the AHL's leading scorer last season (with 75 points in 76 games) and took MVP honors at this year's AHL All-Star Game, and he's not 23 years old until April. He's also inexpensive, still on an entry-level deal with restricted free agency coming in the summer.

What does it give the Chicago Blackhawks
The super-deep Blackhawks never really found a regular role for talented Pirri, and this move suggests they're clearing a future spot for uber-prospect {P Teuvo Teravainen} (who's currently tearing it up in Finland). While they don't save much (if any) money here, the Blackhawks do gain a little roster flexibility for their playoff push, which they'll need if they want to add a veteran for the postseason. The picks are not a major downgrade, since Pirri was himself a second rounder.

Fantasy impact
Pirri should see a big boost fantasy-wise both soon and in the long term, as he has significantly less veteran competition in Florida for a top-six spot. Florida also has emerging young stars at center in {P Aleksander Barkov} and {P Nick Bjugstad}, and once Pirri gets the call he should especially take pressure off the 18-year-old Barkov (who's currently out indefinitely due to a knee injury). It won't be surprising at all if Pirri pushes for a big role soon, and improves the fantasy fortunes of his new linemates in the process. In Chicago there's not much change in fantasy fortunes yet but those who own Teravainen in keeper leagues must be pleased the road is now more clear for him for 2014-15 (or sooner)?

Player focus

Florida Panthers

Brandon Pirri LW/RW

Chicago Blackhawks

a third-round draft pick in 2014

a fifth-round draft pick in 2016