In a minor trade this afternoon the Florida Panthers have traded Kenndal McArdle to the Winnipeg Jets for Angelo Esposito. This seems to be a trade of two former first round underachievers who couldn't ever find their way in the AHL let alone in the NHL. McArdle was drafted by the Panthers 20th overall in the 2005 Entry draft after finishing 7th in the central scouting rankings, Esposito was drafted 20th overall in 2007by the Pittsburgh Penguins after finishing 8th in the central scouting rankings. Esposito was once considered a 1st overall pick after 3 impressive seasons with the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL but has yet to play in an NHL game. As was the case with many of the Panthers 1st rounders earlier in the decade, McArdle was drafted before notable players like T.J. Oshie, Steve Downie and James Neal. More after the jump.
After being drafted McArdle could never seem to regain his step in professional leagues and struggled with a number of injuries that limited his playing time. In a Panthers uniform Kenndal played 33 games (1G/2A) and amassed 47 penalty minutes. McArdle played a gritty style that earned some respect from fans but his meager offensive output always limited his time in Florida.
Esposito is two years younger than McArdle and has just now begun to play in the AHL as a center. Esposito still has unproven potential that could make him a call up should one of the Panthers centers go down with an injury, but for now consider Esposito a 'project' player. Esposito has one year remaining on his ELC.
Of course, we wish Kenndal all the best in his career with the Jets and welcome Angelo to the organization.