With news of the Minnesota Wild trading Gustav Olofsson to the Montreal Canadiens for Will Bitten, the question a lot of people may be asking is; who is Will Bitten?
The Minnesota Wild successfully managed to get younger with the 20-year old, Will Bitten, whilst trading their defensive depth (a stronger point) for some play-making offensive talent (a weaker point).
Based on Rookie Tournament and pre-season showings, Will Bitten may not quite yet be a steal in this trade, but he definitely has some potential to show at a higher level.
The folks over at Elite Prospects had this to see about him:
"A smart offensive catalyst that consistently displays outstanding work ethic, elite hockey sense, and an ability to stay ahead of the play in all three zones.Offensively, he has a very creative streak, and knows what kinds of plays he can make in all situations; he also has an exceptional release on his shot, which he can get off quickly. Defensively, he is a buzzsaw that will not let up on the opposition, creating problems for them by causing turnovers and playing strong positionally. (Elite Prospects)"
For all intent and purposes, it sounds like we’re getting a player than could quite easily project to be a second-line winger.
The ideal scenario would be Bitten’s entry-level deal lining up almost to the point of Parise retiring and being swapped with the youngster.
Of course, for myself and the Minnesota Wild, that is a pipe dream. Bitten’s entry-level deal expires at the end of the 2020-21 season; not quite reaching the end of Parise’s term!
Given that the Minnesota Wild surrendered a player from a position of depth in the organisation, I’m very impressed with the return.
Will Bitten, whilst he represents a certain level of risk for the Minnesota Wild, also represents a signing not focusing on improving now. Rather, it focuses on ensuring the team can, at minimum, maintain their regular trips to the play-offs.
I think the Montreal Canadiens may end up regretting this trade, at least more so than the Minnesota Wild. This is a player with elite potential on offense; maybe not quite elite-tier but at least high-level.
Will Bitten should have a very bright future here in green!