Wild Trade Nino Niederreiter To Hurricanes For Victor Rask
The Minnesota Wild have made a big move, sending winger Nino Niederreiter to the Carolina Hurricanes for center Victor Rask. This move sends 26 year-old Nino, a former core member of the team's long-term plans to the East Coast, while getting 25 year-old Rask to add a young left-handed center to the offense.
Niederreiter was in the second year of a 5-year, $5.25 million/year deal with the Wild, having posted 9 goals and 23 points through 46 games this season with an overall career production of 112 goals and 119 assists in 498 games. In his five years with the Wild (this would be his sixth year), Nino posted three consecutive 20+ goal seasons. Last year, his production was hampered largely by injury, posting 18 goals in 63 games. He was on pace for 16 goals this season with the Wild.
|Goals (18-19 season)||Assists (18-19 season)||Total Games (18-19 season)||Goals (Career)||Assists (Career)||Total Games (Career)|
Rask, a product of Sweden, doesn't have quite the same historical offensive NHL production on his resume. Through the four and a half seasons in the league, all with the Hurricanes, he has posted a total of 63 goals and 100 assists through 339 games. He posted one 21-goal season in 2015-2016, while finishing the rest of his full seasons with between 11 and 16 goals.
He was drafted by the Hurricanes in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft, 42nd overall. He was born in Leksand, Sweden, and won five medals as part of Sweden's junior national teams. His NHL bio explains that Rask finished his rookie season with the Hurricanes fifth in goals (11), tied for fourth in points (33), tied for third in assists (22), and ranked 10th overall among all NHL rookies in points. His second season is when he posted his sole 20+ goal season (21), coming in second on his team in goals scored for the year behind Jeff Skinner (28 goals).
The 2018-2019 season is the third year of a 6-year, $4 million/year deal for Rask. He has played 26 games so far in the 2018-2019 season, missing time at the beginning of the year coming back from a surgery on two fingers on his right hand. So far this season, Rask has 1 goal and 5 assists with a faceoff win percentage of 45.12% (51.1% career faceoff win percentage).
|Goals (18-19 season)||Assists (18-19 season)||Faceoff Win %||Total Games (18-19 season)|
** Fehr is on Injured Reserve
The trade looks to offer a change of scenery to a couple players that haven't been performing at career high levels of late. SkorNorth reports that Wild GM Paul Fenton has kept an eye on Rask since his draft year, and looks at his addition to the team as a depth move to help shore up the center position. It also adds a younger left-handed center to a roster that features three lefties over the age of 34 in Stall (34), Koivu (35), and Hendricks (37).
In case you're curious, Rask will keep the #49 that he wore as part of the Hurricanes.