The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward James Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen from the Dallas Stars in exchange for defenseman Alex Goligoski, it was announced by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
Neal, 23, is in his third NHL season. The 6-foot-2, 208-pound left winger ranked third on the Stars this season with 21 goals and fifth with 39 points.
A native of Whitby, Ontario, Neal established career highs offensively last season with 27 goals, 28 assists and 55 points in 78 games. In 214 NHL games the 2005 second-round pick (33rd overall) has 72 goals and 131 points. He is a three-time 20-goal scorer.
Neal spent four seasons with the Plymouth Whalers (Ontario Hockey League), tallying 68 goals and 173 points in 187 games.
Niskanen, 24, is in his fourth NHL season. The 6-foot, 200-pound defenseman has posted six assists in 45 games this season. Niskanen’s best season came in 2008-09 when he led all Dallas defenders in scoring with 35 points (6G-29A).
The Virginia, Minnesota native was Dallas’ first-round selection (28th overall) in 2005. In 277 career games with the Stars, Niskanen tallied 16 goals and 82 points. Niskanen has three assists in 16 career postseason appearances.
Prior to joining the Stars, Niskanen spent two seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he scored 45 points (10G-35A) in 77 career contests.