The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to battle for their playoff lives in the final two months of the 2023-24 campaign, and general manager Kyle Dubas added a relatively cheap piece to that effort on Thursday.

Emil Benstrom, who has appeared in 204 regular-season games with the Columbus Blue Jackets since entering the league in 2019, was traded from Ohio to Pennsylvania on Thursday.

Dubas didn't give up much for Benstrom's services, parting with forward Alex Nylander, as well as a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2026 NHL Draft.

“What I do know is that he's a talented player,” Pens head coach Mike Sullivan said shortly after the deal, per “He's scored 10-plus goals in the League a couple years when he was in Columbus [once, as a rookie in 2019-20]. Beyond that, I don't have a real good grasp of his overall game. I know Dubas and the hockey ops guys do, and they think he's a guy that can help us.”

While Nylander has been buried in the American Hockey League, appearing in 43 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2023-24, Benstrom should slot into Pittsburgh's middle-six right away.

The 24-year-old has scored five goals and 11 points over 32 games in 2023-24, and 69 points over his 204-game career. He still hasn't gotten into a Stanley Cup Playoffs contest, and will be hoping he can change that with his new team.

Penguins likely aren't done making moves

But the hopes are getting bleak, and it's widely speculated that Dubas will be selling ahead of the Mar. 8 NHL Trade Deadline.

That could include superstar forward Jake Guentzel, who won a Stanley Cup with the Pens in 2017.

“I understand how valuable he’s been as a teammate, person in the community, contributor to helping the team win the Stanley Cup (2017), and so on and so forth. It’s important,” Dubas explained in a thoughtful addressing of the media earlier this week.

“But at the same time, we have to take stock with where we’re at and be realistic about the fact that one of the issues we have is we need to get younger. We have a lot of guys in their 30s signed, some of them are some of the best players in the history of the franchise.”

That certainly makes it seem like Guentzel's days in Pennsylvania could be numbered. And now a full seven points back of the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, every game is going to be crucial down the stretch.

A former fourth-round selection (No. 117 overall) by the Jackets in the 2017 NHL Draft, Emil Benstrom will likely play third or fourth line minutes on his new team.

The Penguins are off until Sunday, when they'll welcome the Philadelphia Flyers to PPG Paints Arena in a crucial Metro Division matchup.