The Minnesota Wild have made their first trade this offseason by trading Marco Scandella to the Buffalo Sabres.
Rumors have been swirling before the NHL Expansion Draft about the Minnesota Wild looking to trade one of it’s defenseman. Marco Scandella and Jonas Brodin were the rumored defensemen on the block. The Minnesota Wild are trying to open up cap space to resign Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund.
The Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Wild completed a deal Friday afternoon. The trade sends Scandella, Jason Pominville and a 4th round pick in exchange for Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno and a 3rd round pick. The move saves the Wild much needed cap space to add a free agent center to their roster.
Marco Scandella was a solid player for the Wild but his offensive numbers weren’t the same this year. In 2014-15, Scandella broke out with 23 points (11 goals & 12 assists) and 90 hits. This past season, in more games played, he had ten less points and 40 less hits.
After his breakout season he signed a five year, $20 million extension. Scandella is a solid top four defenseman but the Wild have four guys ahead of him on the depth chart. The trade allows them to add strength at the forward position.
Pominville heads back to where it all started.
Jason Pominville was originally acquired at the trade deadline in 2013 from, guess who, the Buffalo Sabres. Pominville was the captain of the Sabres when he was traded to the Wild. He resigned with the Wild when his contract was up at the end of the 2013-14 season.
Jason re-signed for $5.6 million a year for five years and has two years left on his deal. After an off year in 2015-16 he bounced back well this year with 47 points (13-34). Pominville will return to the team that drafted him in 2001 with a chance to be more than a third-line winger.
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Tyler Ennis had as many points last year as Marco Scandella, thirteen (5-8). However, he is a forward who needed a fresh start. After struggling with injuries the past two seasons the Wild hope to get the player who scored 40 plus points in back to back seasons. Ennis is also seven years younger than Pominville and is $1 million cheaper. Ennis is also best friends with current Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon.
Marcus Foligno, 25, is a young power forward who had 23 points last season (13-10). Foligno ranked 5th in the NHL in hits last season with 279 adding nearly 100 more hits than in 2015-16. He did that while also lowering his penalty minutes. Foligno is a restricted free agent but won’t command $4 million a year.
The Minnesota Wild needed to make a move to free up cap space to re-sign two young stars on their team. They also needed room to sign some valuable free agents. This trade allowed them to get younger and build depth at the forward position with two younger players who have plenty of potential.
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