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Devils get Bennett from Penguins for third-round pick

24-year-old forward was first-round pick in 2010, has been hampered by injuries

NHL.com @NHL

BUFFALO -- The Pittsburgh Penguins traded right wing Beau Bennett to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday for a third-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Bennett, a first-round choice (No. 20) by the Penguins in the 2010 draft, has been hampered by injuries throughout his career.

"With the number of young guys we have, we felt it was time to give him a change," general manager Jim Rutherford said. "It's a little bit frustrating, the injury part. I certainly recognize he's a good player and I think a change will be good for him and he'll probably do well there. But, with the young forwards we have and some more coming, we felt we had the luxury of doing that."

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Bennett was deemed expendable after the end-of-season meetings of the hockey operations department, Rutherford said. Several teams were interested in acquiring Bennett, but New Jersey made the biggest push, according to Rutherford.

New Jersey general manager Ray Shero was Pittsburgh's GM when Bennett was drafted.

The 24-year-old appeared in one Stanley Cup Playoff game for the Penguins after being limited to 33 games during the regular season because of injuries. While he was sidelined, several players from Pittsburgh's affiliate in the American Hockey League, Wilkes Barre/Scranton, passed Bennett on the depth chart.

"Obviously Beau needs a change," Shero said. "He's highly skilled. Everybody knows his past, but for us in terms of looking for some skill, young skill, we had a number of picks in the third round and fourth round and Pittsburgh was missing a pick in the third round. We took two guys in the third round and traded one of them for Beau. To us, it's worth the chance on skill."

Bennett has 16 goals and 45 points in 129 NHL games but has never played more than 49 games in any of his four seasons.

"[It was] just the injuries," Rutherford said when asked why Bennett never gained traction with the Penguins. "He's a good player. If he can stay healthy, he'll go on to be a good player in New Jersey."

The Penguins selected defenseman Connor Hall of Kitchener in the Ontario Hockey League with the No. 77 pick obtained from the Devils.

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