The New York Rangers have acquired Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal in a trade.

Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara (33), falls to the ice chasing the puck with Carolina Hurricanes' Eric Staal (12) in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

In exchange for Staal, the Hurricanes acquired center Aleksi Saarela, who is currently playing in his native Finland, and New York's second-round selections in each of the next two drafts.

Staal had spent his entire 12-year career with the Hurricanes and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, once the final year of his seven-year, $55.75 million contract expires.

The trade was reached Sunday about an hour before the Hurricanes played host to the St. Louis Blues, and a day before the NHL trade deadline.

Staal has scored 30-plus goals five times in his career.

He has 10 goals and 23 assists in 63 games this season.

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