Hurricanes trade Eric Staal to Rangers for draft picks

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Carolina Hurricanes have traded captain Eric Staal to the New York Rangers, the team confirmed Sunday.

Ron Francis, executive vice president and general manager of the Canes, said the team has acquired Aleksi Saarela, a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and a second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft from the Rangers.

“Eric has been the face of this franchise for a long time, and we thank him for his dedication, leadership and many contributions on and off the ice over the years,” said Francis. “We felt this was an important opportunity for us to continue our work in building an organization that can consistently compete in the Stanley Cup playoffs.”

Saarela, 19, currently plays in a Finnish elite league and leads the team in goals.

Staal has spent his entire 12-year career with the Hurricanes.

Staal has scored 30-plus goals five times in his career. He has 10 goals and 23 assists in 63 games this season.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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