The Sabres acquired veteran winger Jeff Skinner from Carolina in exchange for three draft picks and prospect Cliff Pu. The Hurricanes will get Buffalo's second-rounder in 2019, a third-rounder in 2020, and a sixth-rounder in 2020.
Skinner, who had a limited no-trade clause, will head to Buffalo to play on the Sabres' revamped top six, potentially alongside Jack Eichel on the team's top line.
It's a good addition for a young, rebuilding Sabres team considering the 26-year-old Skinner has been a productive top-end winger since he entered the league and won the Calder Trophy in 2010-11. He's coming off a season in which he tallied 24 goals (his third straight season with 20 or more goals) and 49 points. His 89 goals over the last three seasons (including a career-high 37 goals in 2016-2017) ranks 12th most among all players. He's especially good at even strength, as his 74 ES goals ranks him seventh in that same span.
Skinner has one year remaining on his current deal and brings a cap hit of $5.725 million.
There's been plenty of trade chatter linked to Skinner over the past few months -- the past few years, really. The Hurricanes' front office made it clear at the beginning of this offseason that it planned on being active and it has followed through on those intentions. Earlier this summer the team dealt Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin to Calgary in exchange for Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland and Adam Fox. They also signed a number of players in free agency, including defenseman Calvin de Haan.
Carolina likely didn't get as much as they were hoping for in exchange for Skinner, but the market appeared to be thinning as the summer progressed and it's clear they weren't willing to wait any longer to strike a deal.
Buffalo has been busy in its own right. It acquired Connor Sheary in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, signed free agent goalie Carter Hutton and traded Ryan O'Reilly to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a large package of assets. This deal, however, might involve their biggest acquisition since drafting a potential generational defenseman in Rasmus Dahlin with the top overall pick in June's draft.