The Minnesota Wild have traded Nino Niederreiter to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Victor Rask, the Wild announced Thursday.
Niederreiter is in the second year of a five-year, $26.25 million contract that carries a $5.25 million annual cap hit. Rask is in the third year of a six-year, $24 million contract that carries a $4 million cap hit.
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) January 17, 2019
By completing this trade, the Hurricanes were able to add a goal-scorer to their roster.
The 26-year-old Niederreiter has scored 112 goals and 231 points in his 498-game NHL career, including three seasons of over 20 goals in 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17. He’s scored nine goals and 23 points in 46 games this season.
“We’re excited to welcome a proven goal-scorer and veteran presence in Nino Niederreiter,” said Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell. “We wish Victor the best moving forward and thank him for his efforts on the ice and in the community during his time in Raleigh.”
The Hurricanes have been looking for a scoring winger for a while and though Niederreiter hasn’t had the best first-half to his 2018-19 season, he’s a proven forward who is effective in multiple facets of the game.
For the Wild, Rask will join a team that already boasts Mikko Koivu and Eric Staal as it’s top two center options.
Rask could slot into the team’s third line, moving Charlie Coyle onto the right wing potentially in a top-six role while keeping the center-ice position shored up.
Rask has scored only one goal and six points in 26 games this season. The 25-year-old has scored 63 goals and 163 points in his career with his best season coming in 2015-16 when he scored 21 goals and 48 points in 80 games.
An Interesting Trade With Postseason Implications
This trade is an interesting one as the Hurricanes appear to be the winners of this deal in the immediate aftermath of the transaction. Still, there’s likely more that will be done in the coming weeks as the trade deadline approaches as both the Wild and the Hurricanes look to make a push to the postseason.
This will be Niederreiter’s third time in his NHL career as he was originally drafted by the New York Islanders with the fifth overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He was later traded to the Wild in the deal that saw Cal Clutterbuck traded to the Islanders.
For Rask, the Wild become just his second team at the NHL level as he was drafted by the Hurricanes with the 42nd pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He spent the first four-plus seasons of his career with the team but will get a fresh start in the Western Conference with the Wild who occupy the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference and sit just one point out of third place in the Central Division.
Making the postseason will be a little bit more difficult for Niederreiter as he joins a Hurricanes team who have a 22-19-5 record with 49 points. That total sits them five points out of a playoff spot behind the Metropolitan Division’s third-place New York Islanders as well as the second wildcard spot-holding Pittsburgh Penguins.