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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired left wing Nils Ekman and goaltender prospect Patrick Ehelechner from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2007 second round draft choice, it was announced Thursday by General Manager Ray Shero.

The second round draft choice was previously acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on March 9, 2006 in exchange for Mark Recchi.

Ekman, 30, appeared in 77 games for the San Jose Sharks during the 2005-06 season, tallying 57 points (21+36) and 54 penalty minutes with a plus-20 rating. He established new career highs in assists and points and finished the season fourth on the team in scoring, fourth in goals scored and fourth in assists. His plus/minus rating was good for third on the team.

Ekman has posted back-to-back 20 goal and 50 point seasons and his plus-50 rating over the last two seasons ranks first among forwards in the league. He finished 11th in voting for the 2003-04 Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded annually “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”

The 6-0 and 185 pound left winger has appeared in 230 career NHL games in parts of four seasons with the Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning, recording 136 points (54+82) and 164 penalty minutes. He played one season with the Hartford Wolfpack of the American Hockey League, tallying 66 points (30 +36) and 73 penalty minutes in 57 games played.

The Stockholm, Sweden native was originally drafted by the Calgary Flames in the fifth round (107th overall) of the 1994 Entry Draft.

Ehelechner, 21, split the 2005-06 season with Manheim and Duisburg of the German League. He combined to appear in 27 games and posted a 3.68 goals against average. He finished 18th in the German league in save percentage (.897%) and 20th in the league in goals against average (3.68).

Ehelechner, a 6-2 and 170 pound goaltender, appeared in 107 games for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League from 2003-2005, posting a combined 45-47-10 record with a 2.72 goals against average and six shutouts. He was named to the 2005 OHL All-Star team and finished the season tied for sixth in the league in goals against average (2.56) and in the top ten in wins (23), save percentage and shutouts (3).

He has represented Germany twice at the World Junior Tournament, the first during the 2002-03 season and the second coming in the 2003-04 Group A Tournament. He had a combined record of 3-0-2, with a 2.03 goals against average and two shutouts in seven games played. At the 2003-04 tournament, he was named the Best Goaltender in the Group A Tournament and led Germany to the Group A Championship and a berth in the main World Junior Championship Tournament in 2005.

 The native of Rosenheim, Germany was selected by San Jose in the fifth round (139th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.


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