The Buffalo Sabres acquired Carolina Hurricanes goal-scoring left winger Jeff Skinner, Thursday night, in exchange for prospect Cliff Pu, a 2019 third-round choice, and 2020 second and sixth-round picks.
Skinner, 26, was Carolina’s first pick (7th overall) in 2010. He has played eight seasons for Carolina and scored 379 points (204g, 175a) in 579 games. Last season, Skinner’s production dipped to 49 points (24g, 25a) as he played all 82 games.
Pu, 20, was the Sabres third-round pick in 2016 (69th overall). He was traded from the London Knights (OHL) to the Kingston Frontenacs. Overall, Pu scored 84 points (29g, 54a).
Buffalo General Manager Jason Botterill has been busy remaking the struggling Sabres. The deal for Skinner was Botterill’s third trade since June. Buffalo acquired former Pittsburgh scoring winger Conor Sheary and defenseman Matt Hunwick for a conditional fourth-round choice, and the Sabres made a significant move by dealing second line center Ryan O’Reilly to St. Louis in exchange for Patrick Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka, and prospect Tage Thompson.
The Sabres also drafted defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the first overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, last month.
Skinner and Sheary could fill the Sabres top line with franchise center Jack Eichel. Eichel, 21, had 64 points (25g, 39a) in 67 games last season.
Botterill, the former Pittsburgh Penguins Assistant General Manager, was named Sabres GM in May 2017. Buffalo has not made the playoffs since 2010-11 and have finished last in the Atlantic Division in four of the last five years. They haven’t finished better than seventh in the division since 2012-13.