Report: Wild Trade Mikael Granlund To Predators For Winger Kevin Fiala
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic is confining multiple reports that the Minnesota Wild have traded right winger Mikael Granlund to the Nashville Predators for left winger Kevin Fiala.
The Wild have been very active before the trade deadline, shipping yet another big name in favor of youth and cap space.
Granlund, 26 (turning 27 Tuesday), has 15 goals and 34 assists for a total of 49 points through 63 games played this season so far. He is on pace for a 19-goal season this year, which is a slide from a career-high 26-goal season in 2016-2017 and a 21-goal season last year.
He has been one of the offensive leaders on the team, being one of the top 6 points leaders for the Wild every year since the 2013-2014 season, and being a top 3 goal scorer for the last two years (2nd in 2016-2017, 3rd 2017-2018).
The Wild pick up 22 year-old Kevin Fiala, a left winger with 10 goals and 22 assists for 32 points through 64 games played this season. Fiala posted a total of 6 game appearances between the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons before earning sizable playing time starting in the 2016-2017 season. He made 54 game appearances in 2016-2017 and 80 last year.
Fiala was a 2014 1st round pick (11th overall) by the Predators, hailing from Switzerland. Forecaster.ca describes Fiala as "oozing" with raw playmaking ability and puck skills, calling him a "slick" one-on-one skater with good upside. They also point out that he isn't very big or strong, standing only 5' 10" and weighing in at 193 pounds. Because of this, he isn't the most physical player on the ice. Even then, Predlines.com called him out as a potential breakout player, calling him a gem that dominated at the AHL level. Time will tell if the move to Minnesota will allow that gem to shine.
CapFriendly reports that Granlund's cap hit is $5.75 million per year through the end of next season, when his current deal expires. Fiala, on the other hand, is in the final year of his current deal, worth $863,333 and an additional $500,000 in incentives, per CapFriendly. At the end of the season, Fiala will become a restricted free agent, giving the Wild the opportunity to reassess their acquisition and sign him to a new deal if so desired.