The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Jason Zucker from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Alex Galchenyuk, a conditional 2020 first-round pick, and prospect Calen Addison, the team announced Monday.
The first-round pick is protected if the Penguins miss the playoffs, Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford told Michael Russo of The Athletic via text message. The first-rounder can be deferred to 2021 should the Penguins fail to qualify, according to CapFriendly.
Pittsburgh has long pursued Zucker, who was believed to be the centerpiece of the Penguins' return in the offseason trade that Phil Kessel ultimately nixed. It's understood a deal sending Zucker from the Wild to the Calgary Flames fell apart in the final hours leading up to last year's trade deadline.
Zucker represents a significant boost to the Penguins' forward corps with Jake Guentzel out for the season. The 28-year-old winger has notched 29 points in 49 games this season and is under contract for three more years at $5.5 million per season.
The Penguins acquired Galchenyuk from the Arizona Coyotes in their eventual deal for Kessel. The 25-year-old never managed to get it going in Pittsburgh, registering just five goals and 12 assists in 45 contests. He's a pending unrestricted free agent, and the Wild will be his fourth NHL team since the Montreal Canadiens drafted him third overall in 2012.
Addison, 19, was considered one of the Penguins' top prospects. Selected by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2018 NHL Draft, the right-shooting defenseman has 43 points in 39 games for the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes this season. He was also a member of Canada's gold medal-winning squad at this year's world juniors.