Hurricanes land winger Guentzel in multiplayer trade with Pens

Penguins agree in principle to trade Jake Guentzel to the Hurricanes (0:31)

Emily Kaplan explains how Jake Guentzel could boost the Carolina Hurricanes in the playoffs. (0:31)

The Pittsburgh Penguins traded winger Jake Guentzel to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night, sending the most prominent forward available at the NHL trade deadline to a division rival.

The Penguins traded Guentzel and defenseman Ty Smith to Carolina for forwards Michael Bunting, Ville Koivunen, Cruz Lucius and Vasily Ponomarev, the Hurricanes' conditional first-round pick in 2024 and conditional fifth-round pick in 2024.

Pittsburgh retained 25% of Guentzel's $6 million salary cap hit.

"Jake is an elite goal scorer and playmaker who has produced at a high level for his entire NHL career," Carolina general manager Don Waddell said. "Ty is a young, offensive-minded defenseman who will provide us with another reliable option on the blue line. We're thrilled to bolster our lineup as we compete to bring the Stanley Cup back to Raleigh."

The Penguins will receive Carolina's first-round pick if the Hurricanes make the Stanley Cup Final this season. If they don't, the first-rounder becomes the Philadelphia Flyers' second-round pick, which was previously acquired by the Hurricanes in the Tony DeAngelo trade in 2022. Pittsburgh will receive Carolina's fifth-round pick if the Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup this season.

Guentzel, 29, is considered the top forward available ahead of Friday's NHL trade deadline. He has 52 points in 50 games this season, including 22 goals. He hasn't played since Feb. 14 with an upper body injury, but has resumed skating.

Guentzel has 466 points in 503 career games during his eight seasons with the Penguins. He has been Sidney Crosby's primary winger for much of that time.

"He did everything he possibly could in his time here," said Crosby, who won a Stanley Cup with Guentzel in 2017. "Just a privilege to play with him for the course of that time. Great memories and that's all I can say."

Guentzel is an unrestricted free agent after the season. The Hurricanes did not engage in any contract talks with him before the trade.

Because of his age and what he's expected to earn in his next contract, the Penguins opted to shop Guentzel at the deadline with an eye toward a rebuild for the veteran team. GM Kyle Dubas recently said that while Guentzel has been an integral part of the team, "one of the issues we have is we need to get younger."

"The trade deadline time is always tough," Crosby said.

Ponomarev, 21, is a playmaking center currently in the AHL. Koivunen, 20, is a skilled offensive player for Kärpät in Finland's Liiga. Lucius, 19, is a scoring winger for the University of Wisconsin.

Bunting , a five-year NHL veteran, was held out of Carolina's game against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night for "trade-related reasons," according to the team. The trade reunites him with Dubas, who signed him as a free agent when both were with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"It's hard. It's not normal," Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei said of scratching Bunting before the trade. "You go through it every year, but it's a different feel in the locker room when you see one of your teammates leave out of nowhere."

The Hurricanes had sought a scoring winger at the deadline. They also wanted to add an impact postseason player. Guentzel won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2017 and has earned a reputation as a clutch postseason performer, with 58 points in 58 career playoff games, including 34 goals.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.