Fantasy Take: Pearson to Pittsburgh, Hagelin to LA

by Ian Gooding on November 14, 2018

On Tuesday two teams looking for a shakeup agreed on a deal, exchanging left wingers. The Los Angeles Kings sent Tanner Pearson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Carl Hagelin.

Both players have experienced their share of struggles this season. Hagelin has just three points (1g-2a) in 16 games and has not recorded a single point in his last seven games. Pearson, meanwhile, has just a single assist and a minus-9 rating in 17 games.

With both the Kings and the Penguins underperforming (especially the Kings), more changes may be coming for both clubs. The Kings may go into a full sell-off mode should they continue to be stuck in the basement of the Western Conference. Penguins’ GM Jim Rutherford was recently granted a three-year extension, so he should have the blessing to make the changes that he recently expressed that he would make should the team's struggles continue.

With the strong possibility of playing alongside either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, Pearson’s fantasy value could receive a much-needed shot in the arm. Keep in mind that playing alongside Malkin and Phil Kessel didn’t help Hagelin, though. But Pearson should immediately become a player of interest in deeper leagues at least. If anything, his shooting percentage will improve from zero. Yet he was averaging less than 1.5 shots per game this season, down from the 2.25 shots per game that he averaged over the previous two seasons. So the shot total will first have to improve.

The speedy Hagelin could easily slot into Pearson’s role as a middle-six forward in LA, which would mean that he’d be centered by one of Jeff Carter or Adrian Kempe. Obviously the preference is Carter here. Yet with the Kings mired at the bottom of the league in offense (2.00 GF/GP), this likely won’t improve Hagelin’s already sunken fantasy value a great deal, unless he can find amazing chemistry with one or more of his new Kings’ teammates. At the very least, he will improve team speed, though.

Fantasy owners are discussing the trade on the Forum. Give your take here!