Paul Fenton saved this one in the drafts. Bill Guerin accidentally pressed send.
The Minnesota Wild traded Ryan Donato to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick which the Sharks acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It was originally reported that the Wild would package veteran goaltender Devan Dubnyk with the young winger to San Jose, but it eventually was divided into two different discussions.
There is still a very strong possibility that the Wild and Sharks make a second trade today on the eve of the NHL Draft which takes place tomorrow. They reportedly have a strong interest in the veteran goaltender who revived his career in Minnesota.
The 24-year-old winger was acquired with a draft pick as the return for Charlie Coyle back in February of 2019 during the Paul Fenton stint. That transaction with the Boston Bruins was just one of the major trades that shipped the Wild’s underwhelming core in the aftermath of a six-year playoff tenure that ended with absolutely nothing to show for it.
After Donato recorded 15 points in his first 15 games with the Wild, it appeared he found his game and style in Minnesota. He was battling to find a permanent roster spot on a Wild team with a surplus of wingers. Unfortunately, he became a victim of the Wild’s depth chart.
More from Gone Puck Wild
- Defenseman Matt Dumba signs one-year contract with Arizona
- Minnesota Wild reach agreement with Brandon Duhaime on one-year contract
- Minnesota Wild receive mixed grades for picks in NHL Entry Draft
- Minnesota Wild draft heavy on centers and home-state selections
- Minnesota Wild open regular season at home against Stanley Cup Finalist
A third-round pick in the 2021 draft is very underwhelming in the eyes of Wild fans, it is just another disappointment to add onto the already formed mountain of disappointments.
Ryan Donato is worth more than a third-round pick.
The former second-round pick scored 14 goals (all even-strength) and 9 assists for 23 points last season. As Site Expert Lake Martin has put it, he has the same output as Jeff Skinner averaging 6 less minutes per game.
Donato was a healthy scratch seven times last season, played primarily in a fourth-line role, and averaged roughly 10 minutes a game despite being tied for the team lead in even-strength goals.
According to Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic and because Donato excelled in the role he was placed in, he was determined to be worth just over $8 million compared to the market. Donato was playing in a fourth-line role despite playing like a fringe second-liner. Donato provided the Wild with 1.2 wins above replacement-level.
Over a three-year span, Donato ranks in the 96th percentile in goals per hour, 76th percentile in points per hour, and the 90th percentile in shooting talent. Furthermore, he ranks in the 66th percentile in even-strength offense and 93rd percentile in the power-play offense.
If he can continue similar output in more expansive opportunities, he might just get compensated as such.
Ryan Donato has immense potential and has all the tools to become a top-six forward in the NHL with the right deployment and linemates.
The Wild do gain just over a million in cap space in the subsequent moves of moving Donato and re-signing Nico Sturm to a two-year contract.