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Acquired for Guentzel, new Penguin Koivunen headlines prospects moved at deadline


The National Hockey League’s trade deadline has come and gone and while a majority of the moves centred on swapping roster players and draft picks, there were a couple notable prospects who changed teams.

Forward Ville Koivunen, who is the No. 34 ranked prospect on TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button’s top 50 list of NHL-affiliated prospects, was traded to Pittsburgh in the deal that sent Jake Guentzel to Carolina. 

Koivunen, 20, was drafted 51st overall by the Hurricanes in 2021 and is enjoying a strong season with SM Liiga’s Karpat. He is currently sixth in the league in scoring with 22 goals and 56 points in 59 games this season. 

He got his first taste of North American hockey at the end of last season, joining the AHL’s Chicago Wolves for 12 games, scoring one goal. 

Koivunen was not the only prospect Pittsburgh received from Carolina in the Guentzel deal as two other forward prospects, Vasili Ponomarev and Cruz Lucius, also went the other way. 

Ponomarev, 22, had eight goals and 29 points in 39 games with the AHL’s Wolves this season and helped the franchise win a Calder Cup in 2022. He also made his NHL debut with the Hurricanes on Jan. 5, notching a goal and an assist in a 6-2 win over the Washington Capitals. He was drafted 53rd overall by Carolina in 2020. 

Lucius was selected in the fourth round (124th overall) by Carolina in 2022. The 19-year-old winger is in his sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin, where he has 13 goals and 34 points in 35 games this season.

The biggest trade that rocked the deadline was the reigning Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights acquired forward Tomas Hertl and a pair of third-round picks in exchange for a 2025 first-round pick and prospect David Edstrom

Edstrom was selected 32nd overall in last year’s draft by Vegas. The 19-year-old centre has seven goals and 19 points in 44 games with Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League this season. He also had three assists in seven games at the World Juniors as Sweden earned silver. 

With the Sharks setting up themselves up for a long rebuild, Edstrom will be a key piece in that, joining other Sharks prospects such as Will Smith, William Eklund and Quentin Musty

With the trade of Edstrom, forward Brendan Brisson is the only first-round pick selected by Vegas still with the organization.