MIN Receives: Victor Rask
CAR Receives: Nino Niederreiter
Trade Buzz: Thursday’s 1-for-1 trade of young underperforming players saw the Minnesota Wild acquire center Victor Rask from the Carolina Hurricanes for left winger Nino Niederreiter. Carolina did an excellent job of being able to get out of the Rask contract, who has three years remaining with a $4 million cap hit. Rask has 1 goal, 5 assists on the season, mirrored in a 22-game goal drought. The logic here for Minnesota is taking the chance on a playmaking center who can help fill a top-9 spot longer term if the Wild move on from Eric Staal. Minnesota is also playing the card that a change of scenery will benefit the 24-year old who posted a career-high 21 goals, 48 points in 2015-2016.
Niederreiter’s trade value was stunted because of his contract, where he has three years left on his deal with a $5.25 million cap hit. Niederreiter is a player who is extremely hard to play against, drives possession well, and has three 20 goal seasons over his last four full seasons. Injuries (18 goals in 63 games) kept him from a 4th straight 20-goal season in 17-18. The Niederreiter acquisition also sets up as great insurance for the Hurricanes if they can’t resign Micheal Ferland. In the short-term, Carolina’s center situation is a mess with Jordan Staal sidelined with a concussion, but they’re getting the better player who fits the identity they’re trying to establish upfront, especially on the wings where they’ve identified the need for Patric Hornqvist type players.