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

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.