The Minnesota Wild and Ottawa Senators swapped minor league players at the 11th hour of the 2016 trade deadline. The Senators acquire former Finnish league leading scorer Michael Keranen and the Wild pull in former UMASS Amherst defenseman Conor Allen, reports the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch.
In Keranen, the Senators get a small forward, who has proven that he’s capable of scoring in North America, but never had a chance at the NHL level. When he arrived from Finland he was highly touted by the team as a great un-drafted free agent signing. He’d led the Finnish Liiga in points the prior year and it seemed like he’d have an opportunity to grow with the Wild.
In his first year in North America he was second on the Iowa Wild in points and has 23 points in 45 games this season. He’s a capable scorer, but is more comfortable as a set-up man on a line with a player able to pot a few and do the dirty work in front of the net.
Keranen is finishing out a one-year, two-way contract this season.
In return, the Wild pick up a 6-foot-1 defenseman that scouts have regularly said uses his size well and plays a well-rounded game, though he doesn’t excel at any one thing.
His first two AHL seasons he was able to contribute a fair amount of offense, but that hasn’t been the case this year. Between Milwaukee and Binghamton he has two goals and nine assists through 48 games. That pales in comparison to the 11 goals and 23 assists he scored last year for the Hartford Wolf Pack in 72 games. He also made his NHL debut last year, grabbing one game with the New York Rangers.
Allen is a restricted free agent at the end of this season.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.