“Minnesota will get a to start with-round draft pick for Eric Staal.”
Individuals are the words of NHL Community analyst Dave Reid, who led a dialogue on Monday evening about what the Wild should really do with Staal, who is an unrestricted no cost agent immediately after the period.
Though obtaining a to start with-round pick for Staal might be a extend, the good reasons for investing him presented up by Reid and his colleague, , make perception.
“The information could be that we’ve acquired youthful gamers who we want to give far more opportunity to, for the reason that we know that they can phase up appropriate now,” mentioned Reid, who likened Minnesota’s situation with Staal to what the Blues experienced last period with Paul Statsny.
Nevertheless in the playoff image, like the Wild currently are, the Blues dealt Statsny to the Winnipeg Jets for the reason that they understood they wouldn’t be capable to re-signal him in the offseason. Alternatively than keep on to an getting older participant for the extend operate, they obtained prolonged-expression price in a trade and continue to created it to the playoffs.
The NHL Community crew outlined Winnipeg and Vegas as doable trade associates with the Wild for the reason that both could use a participant like Staal to middle their second strains.
So who can take Staal’s spot at middle if he’s traded?
Joel Erikkson Ek would be an possibility.
“You will need them to consider the subsequent phase and get improved, but the only way they are heading to get improved is remaining place in circumstances the place they are challenged,” mentioned NHL Network’s Scott Stevens, who was an assistant mentor with the Wild throughout the 2016-17 period.
Erikkson Ek is an interesting circumstance for the reason that he seemed like a possible star immediately after the Wild took the Swede 20th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. But he’s been slow to go as a pro to the stage that the Wild sent him down to the Iowa Wild in the American Hockey League to operate on his offense.
That excursion to Iowa was brief-lived as he was recalled last week next Mikko Koivu’s period-ending knee damage. But in his nine game titles in Iowa he scored 4 targets and experienced nine details, as soon as again flashing the generation the Wild think he’s able of.
Why has he struggled in the NHL? According to The Athletic, it might have a large amount to do with enjoying with rookies and fourth liners like Daniel Winnick and Marcus Foligno, who he’s invested far more ice time with than any other duo.
And so far so excellent as Minnesota’s 3rd-line middle. In three game titles because remaining recalled, he has two targets and a as well as-three score, and he’s completed that with just around 15 minutes of ice time per activity.
If Staal is traded and Erikkson Ek moves up to the second line, he could be hunting at 18-20 minutes per activity, which would give him far more opportunity to produce and enjoy together with improved gamers.
The NHL trade deadline hits at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25.