Tanner Pearson has reportedly been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Carl Hagelin.
According to NHLNumbers.com, the contracts of Pearson and Hagelin carry cap-hits of $3.75M and $4.0M, respectively. While Hagelin’s contract expires after this season, Pearson is signed through 2021, which explains the Kings’ reasoning for the trade.
Hagelin’s departure opens up a potential spot in the top-six for Pearson. Hagelin had played predominantly on the wing of Evgeni Malkin for the past two seasons. Despite the premium minutes, he has just one goal and two assists in 16 games this season.
As far as changes of scenery go, there isn’t a better place to end up than the Penguins’ top-six. After averaging 18 goals and 22 assists over the last three seasons, Pearson’s registered zero goals and just one assist in 17 games this season.
A closer look at his numbers suggests better days are ahead for Pearson in Pittsburgh. The dip in his production can be explained by the combination of a drop in ice time (13:30 ATOI) and a historically-bad on-ice SH% of 1.2%. Whether or not he sees more ice time remains to be seen, but the on-ice SH% will inevitably regress. Pearson’s first chance to crack the Penguins’ top-six will come Thursday night at home against the Lightning.