Brandon Sutter and Zach Boychuk were first-round draft picks by the Carolina Hurricanes – Sutter in 2007, Boychuk in 2008.

Now, they're teammates with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sutter went to the Pens in June in the big trade that brought center Jordan Staal to the Canes. Boychuk, placed on waivers Wednesday by the Canes, was claimed Thursday by the Penguins.

"It's part of the process. We knew it might happen," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said Thursday. "I'm happy for him, that he's getting another chance. We had hoped that he could have cleared, that we could have kept working on his development."

Had Boychuk cleared waivers, he would have been reassigned to the Charlotte Checkers, the Canes' AHL affiliate. But the Pens picked up the 5-foot-10, 185-pound winger, who had 16 goals and 16 assists in 37 games for Charlotte this season.

Boychuk said he received a call a few minutes after noon from Ray Shero, the Pens' general manager.

"He said he was looking for speed, that he wanted me to come in and play my game," Boychuk said. "He said I'd get the opportunity to play with some great players, that I should just play my game and take advantage of it."

Boychuk, 23, appeared in Carolina's season opener against the Florida Panthers but was a healthy extra the past four games. He played left wing on the top line with Eric Staal and Alex Semin against Florida.

With the NHL regular season starting quickly, Canes coach Kirk Muller inserted Boychuk, Zac Dalpe and Drayson Bowman – three forwards who played in Charlotte during the lockout – into the lineup for the opener.