Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Grades: Assessing Each Transaction in 2014-15

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Grade: A+

Acquiring Ian Cole at the trade deadline in exchange for Robert Bortuzzo seems like highway robbery. I understand that Bortuzzo fits St. Louis’ physical style better than Cole, but there’s simply no comparison in skill.

Cole has been impressive. He had some bumps in the road and hasn’t been perfect, but who is? I love his willingness to fire the puck as he has a great shot, he’s a very good skater, and he’s a fairly large body. In a way, he’s a good replacement for Simon Despres.

Of course, “almost” is a big part of that tweet, but it’s true. Cole has been that good for this team and I’m looking forward to seeing him in an increased role next season. It’s very possible that if the defensive corps stands pat, he’ll be part of the top-4. Considering the following quote from Mike Johnston in Josh Yohe’s Friday Insider at DKonPittsburghSports.Com. The Pens are excited too.

“Man,” Johnston said. “This guy Ian Cole, he’s a good player. I didn’t realize we were getting that good of a player.”

Next: 5 Reasons the Pens Will Win the Cup in 2016

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