The Minnesota Wild have dipped into the trade market once again, bringing Brad Hunt across from the Vegas Golden Knights as well as a 2019 sixth round pick, in return for one of their two 2019 fifth round picks.
Fresh from an impressive 4-2 victory over their trade partners in which the subject of it, Brad Hunt was a healthy scratch, the Minnesota Wild made their first trade with the Vegas Golden Knights since the one that saw the expansion team snag both Erik Haula and Alex Tuch.
Given that they had two picks in the fifth round (also owning the Washington Capitals pick) already, this doesn’t look to be a bad deal, even if it is the lowest overall of the two that goes to Vegas.
Fifth and sixth round draft picks are reasonably long shots of ever making the NHL, so for the Minnesota Wild to swap an additional pick for a player that has at least some degree of NHL upside and if not, a strong degree of AHL upside; it seems like a win.
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The AHL upside provides tremendous value in mentoring the future generations if nothing else.
However, a return of seven points in thirteen NHL games this season actually suggests more than just a little offensive upside if the Minnesota Wild can find a good spot for Brad Hunt in the line-up.
Suffice to say his American Hockey League numbers over the years of 209 points in 287 games suggest that there’s plenty of upside to the player, even if he is only on a one year deal that expires at the end of this season.
At a league minimum cap hit though, you’ve got a player that could possibly step in immediately on the Minnesota Wild blue-line to help fill the shoes of Matt Dumba.
Given his offensive game, maybe that’s the intention with Brad Hunt? Or you have a player that becomes a useful trade chip in a further deal.
It’s possible that this deal was made as somewhat of a favour for the Vegas Golden Knights, given they have players on injured reserve soon to return and will need to waive players that would likely be claimed if they didn’t ship out a roster member or two.
Maybe Minnesota Wild General Manager Paul Fenton isn’t just bringing in Brad Hunt from Vegas. It seems very much plausible that there may be a bit more at play here and this is the first of at least two deals with last years’ Stanley Cup finalists.
Who else exactly that the Wild might have interest in though is anyone’s guess. I’m hedging that Brandon Pirri might have been an option, given that Vegas is backed into a corner with his current roster eligibility.
As a result of the trade, Louie Belpedio‘s stint with the Minnesota Wild has ended as he has been returned to the Iowa Wild.